October 1, 2007

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Contemporary theologies are unquestionably in a state of crisis, perhaps the most profound crisis that Christian theology has faced since its creation. This crisisis specifies in three areas? (1) in the relation of a dogmatic theology to its biblical ground, a crisis posed by the rise of a modem historical understanding; (2) in the relation of Theology to the sensibility and Existenz of contemporary man, a crisis created by the death of God; and (3) in the relation of the community of faith to the whole order of social, political and economic institutions, the collapse generated a crisis as of Christendom. In intend to focus upon the second of these areas, although it can only be artificially isolated from the other two. Furthermore, we will simply assume the truth of Nietzsche’s proclamation of the death of God, a truth that a contemporary theology has thus far ignored or set aside. This means that we will understand the death of God as a historical event: God has died in our time, in our history, in our existence. The man who chooses to live in our destiny can neither know the reality of God’s presence nor understand the world as his creation; Or, at least, he can no longer respond either interiorly or cognitively to the classical Christian images of the Creator and the creation. In this situation, an affirmation of the traditional forms of faith becomes a Gnostic escape from the brute realities of history.
Sören Kierkegaard founded A modern Theology, as we will understand it: Founded not simply in response to the collapse of Christendom, but more deeply in response to the arrival of a reality that was wholly divorced from the world of faith, or, as Kierkegaard saw, a reality created by the negation of faith. While employing the Hegelian categories of the "universal" and the "objective" for understanding the new reality created by modern man, Kierkegaard came to understand the modern consciousness as the product of a Faustian choice. Modern philosophy is, as Kierkegaard argued in The Sickness Unto Death, simply paganism, its really secret being: "cogito ergo sum” - In think is to be; Whereas the Christian motto, on the contrary, is: "As thou believest, so art thou; To believe is to be." Here, cogito and credo are antithetical acts: Modern or "objective" knowledge is not religiously neutral, as so many theologians have imagined; it is grounded in a dialectical negation of faith. Again, to know "objectively" is to exist "objectively." Such existence is the antithetical opposite of the "subjectivity" which Kierkegaard identified as faith. With the birth of objective knowledge, reality appeared as an objective order, and God was banished from the "real" world. However, for Kierkegaard, who was living at a moment when Christian subsistence was still a possibility, it was not only God but also the concretely existing individual who was banished from the world of the "universal." Already, in Fear and Trembling, the minor themes that “. . . the individual is incommensurable with reality threatens the major theme of the ‘knight of faith, that, . . . subjectivity is incommensurable with reality.’ So radical is this incommensurability that the existing individual and objective reality now exist in a state of dialectical opposition: to know objectively is to cease to exist subjectively, to exist subjectively is to cease to know objectively. Moreover, it was precisely Kierkegaard’s realization of the radically profane ground of modern knowledge that made possible his creation of a modern Christian mode of dialectical understanding. Existence in faith is antithetically related to existence in objective reality; now faith becomes subjective, momentary and paradoxical, least of mention, existence in faith is existence by virtue of the absurd. Why the absurd? Because faith is antithetically related to ‘objectivity,’ . . . therefore, true faith is radical inwardness or subjectivity, it comes into existence by a negation of objectivity, and can only maintain it by a continual process, or repetition, of negating objectivity.
Kierkegaard’s dialectical method is fully presented in the Postscript, but it was a method destined never to be fully evolved. Quite simply the reason that this method never reached completion is that it never - despite his initial effort in Fear and Trembling - moved beyond negation. Although biographically his second conversion or “metamorphosis hardened Kierkegaard’s choice of a negative dialectic," a conversion that led to his resolve to attack the established church, and therefore to abandon philosophy, it is also true that he could limit faith to a negative dialectical movement because he could identify faith and "subjectivity." In the Postscript, subjective thinking is "existential," and ". . . passion is the culmination of existence for an existing individual." Nonetheless, "passion" is radical inwardness, and true inwardness is "eternity" (an identification first established in The Concept of Dread). To be sure, "eternity" is a subjective and not an objective category, and therefore it can only be reached through inwardness. Nevertheless, the crucial point is that Kierkegaard could identify authentic human existence with existence in faith. Kierkegaard knew the death of God only as an objective reality: Indubitably, it was "objectivity" that had created by its means ion the death of God. Accordingly, the negation of objectivity makes faith possible, and since "objectivity" and "subjectivity" are antithetical categories, it follows that faith can be identified with "subjectivity." Today we can see that Kierkegaard could dialectically limit "objectivity" and "subjectivity" to the level of antithetical categories because he still lived in a historical time when subjectivity could be known as indubitably Christian. Less than a hundred years later, it will be little less than blasphemy to identify the truly "existential" with existence in faith. However, in Kierkegaard’s time the death of God had not yet become a subjective reality. So authentic human existence could be understood as culminating in faith, the movement of faith could be limited to the negation of "objectivity," and no occasion need arise for the necessity of a dialectical coincidence of the opposites. Yet no dialectical method can be complete until it leads to this final coincidental oppositorum.
If radical dialectical thinking was reborn in Kierkegaard, it was consummated in Friedrich Nietzsche: The thinker who, in Martin Heidegger’s words, brought an end to the metaphysical tradition of the West. His most important work, Sein und Zeit, 1927, in English as, Being and Time, 1962, clears the space for the quest for Being and only a favoured few have any hope of recapturing oneness with Being. Especially belief in the possibility of escaping from metaphysics and returning into an authentic communion with independent nature, least of mention, saying anything about Being as this is difficult, so what in effect replaces it is peoples’ own consciousness of their place in the world, or of what the world is for them (their Dasein), which then becomes the topic. Before its central themes had become, they became the staple topics of ‘existentialism’, they had a more sinister political embodiment: Heidegger became more inclined to a kind of historical fatalism, and is sometimes seen as an heir to the tradition of Dilthey. Heidegger’s continuing influence is due at least in part to his criticism of modernity and democracy, which he associates with a lack of respect for nature independent of the uses to which human beings put it. However, he has also been hailed (notably by Rorty) as a proponent of ‘pragmatism’, and even more remarkable many French intellectuals have taken him as a prophet of the political left. When he writes that “from a metaphysical point of view, Russia and America are the same, the same dreary technological frenzy, the same unrestricted organization of the average person” (An Introduction to Metaphysics, 1953) forging that his contempt for the mass culture of the industrial age springs from nationalistic and middle-class élitism, rather than from any left-wing or egalitarian illusions.
Nietzsche’s proclamation of the death of God shattered the transcendence of Being. No longer is there a metaphysical hierarchy or order that can give meaning or value to existing beings (Seiendes); as Heidegger points out, now there is no Sein of Seiendes. Nietzsche was, of course, a prophetic thinker, which means that his thought reflected the deepest reality of his time, and of our time as well; For to exist in our time is to exist in what Sartre calls a "hole in Being," a "hole" created by the death of God. However, the proclamation of the death of God - or, more deeply, the willing of the death of God - is dialectical: a No-saying to God (the transcendence of Sein) makes possibly a Yes-saying to human existence (Dasein, total existence in the here and now). Absolute transcendence is transformed into absolute immanence: It’s positive actualization has characterized the particularized occupancy to a position of the Here and Now. Only, by ways of post-Christian existential "now-nesses," are we drawn into ourselves, if only in those powers that were once bestowed upon and beyond: Consequently, Nietzsche’s vision of Eternal Recurrence is the dialectical correlate of his proclamation of the death of God, least of mention, that since death is the cessation of life, it, . . . cannot be experienced, nor be harmed nor a proper object of fear. So, at least, have argued many philosophers, notably Epicurus and Lucretius. A prime consideration has been the symmetry between the state of being dead, and the state of ‘being’ not yet in existence. On the other hand death is feared, and thought of as a harm (even if it is instant: it is not the process of dying that make the difference). The alternative, immortality, sounds better until the detail is filled, when it can begin to sound insupportable. The management of death is one of the topics of ‘bioethics’. All in the same, the assertion that God is dead, but that we have to vanquish his shadow, first occurs in Nietzsche’s “The Gay Science.” Nietzsche tells of the madman who hails it as the greatest achievement of mankind, to have killed God and turned the churches into tombs and sepulchers of God. Nevertheless, people do not listen to the madman for ‘the deed is still more distant from them than the most -distant stars - and yet they have done it themselves’.
. . . Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies, and everything blossoms again; Eternally runs the year of being. Everything breaks, and everything is joined anew; Eternally the same house of being is built. Everything parts, but everything greets every other thing again, least of mention, that the eternal ring of being remains faithful to it. In every NOW, being begins; Round every here roll the sphere. There. The centre is everywhere. Bent is the path of eternity.
Only when God is dead can Being begin in each now. Eternal Recurrence is neither the cosmology nor a metaphysical idea: it is Nietzsche’s symbol of the deepest affirmation of existence, of Yes-saying. Accordingly, Eternal Recurrence is a symbolic portrait of the truly contemporary man, the man who dares to live in our time, in our history, in our existence. Have enslaved man into the alienation of "being" and to the guilt of "history." Yet now the contemporary Christian can rejoice because the Jesus whom our time has discovered is the proclaimer of a gospel that makes incarnate a Kingdom reversing the order of "history" and placing in question the very reality of "being." Perhaps we are at last prepared to understand the true uniqueness of the Christian Gospel.
The history of religions teaches us that Christianity stands apart from the other higher religions of the world on three grounds: (1) Its proclamation of the Incarnation, (2) its world-reversing form of ethics, and (3) the fact that Christianity is the only one of the world religions to have evolved or, in some decisive sense, to have initiated a radically profane form of Existenz. Christendom imagined that the Incarnation meant a non-dialectical (or partial) union of time and eternity, of flesh and Spirit; by that it abandoned a world-reversing form of ethics and ushered in the new age of an absolutely autonomous history (profane Existenz). What we know as the traditional image of the Incarnation is precisely the means by which Christendom laid the grounds for the fatefully willing death of God, for this traditional image made possibly the sanctification of "time" and "nature," a final sanctification leading to the transformation of eternity into time. If this process led to the collapse of Christendom, it nevertheless is a product of Christendom, and faith must now face the consequences of a non-dialectical union of time and eternity. Is a form of faith possible that will affect a dialectical union between time and eternity, or the sacred and the profane? Already we can see significant parallels between Nietzsche’s vision of Eternal Recurrence and Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God. By accepting "Being begins in every now" as the deepest symbolic expression of contemporary Existenz, we can see that modern profane existence knows a form of the Incarnation. Like its New Testament original, the profane form of the Incarnation isolates authentic existence from the presence of "being" and "history," and it does so dialectically. The Yes-saying of Eternal Recurrence dawns out of the deepest No-saying, and only when man has been surpassed will "Being" begin in every "Now." Let us also note that modern Existenz has resurrected a world-reversing form of ethic, e.g., in Marx, Freud, Kafka, and in Nietzsche him. May the Christian greet our Existenz as a paradoxical way through which he may pass to eschatological faith? Surely this is the problem that the crisis of theology poses for us today.
The aforementioned, as we have attempted to portray Nietzsche's fundamental thought - the eternal returns of the same - in its essential import, in its domain, and in the mode of thinking that is expressly proper to the thought it, that is, the mode demanded by the thought as such. In that way we have laid the foundation for our own efforts to define Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position in Western philosophy. The effort to circumscribe Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position shows that we are examining his philosophy as for the position assigned it by the history of Western philosophy until now. At the same time, this means that we are expressly transposing Nietzsche's philosophy to that sole position in which it can and most unfold the forces of thought that are most proper to it, and this from inescapable confrontation with prior Western philosophy as a whole. The fact that during our presentation of the doctrine of return we have come to cognize the region of thought that must necessarily and preeminently take precedence in every fruitful reading and appropriating of Nietzschean thought may be an important gain; yet when viewed for the essential task, namely the characterization of Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position, such a gain remains merely provisional.
We can probably define Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position in its principal traits if we ponder the response he gives to the question concerning the constitution of being and being's way to be. Now, we know that Nietzsche offers two answers regarding being as a whole: Actualized wholeness is willed top power, and being as a whole is eternal occurrence of the same. Yet philosophical interpretations of Nietzsche's philosophy have up too now been unable to grasp these two simultaneous answers as answers, are, in fact, answers that necessarily cohere, because they have not recognized the questions to which these answers pertain; That is to say, prior interpretations have not explicitly developed these questions because of a thoroughgoing articulation of the guiding question. If, on the contrary, we approach the matter as to the developed guiding question, the word “is apparently" in these two major statements -being as a whole is willed to power, and being as a whole is eternal recurrence of the same in each case suggests something different. To say that being as a whole "is" eternal recurrence of the same means that being as a whole is, for being, in the manner of eternal recurrence of the same. The determination in the "will to power" replies to the question of being with respect to the latter's constitution, in that for the determination forwarded to the "eternal recurrence of the same" that it replies to the question of being with its own respectful manner, to its ways that it is to be. Nonetheless, constitution and manner of being do cohere as determination of the beingness of beings.
Accordingly, in Nietzsche's philosophy will to power and eternal recurrence of the same belongs together. It is thus right from the start a misunderstanding -better, an outright mistake of metaphysical proportions when commentators try to play off will to power against eternal recurrence of the same, and especially when they exclude the latter together from metaphysical determinations of being. In truth, the coherence of both must be grasped. Such coherence is it essentially defined by the coherence of the constitution of beings also specifies in each case their way to be - keeping steadfast in their peculiarities, only for which they bear their own proper grounds.
What fundamental metaphysical position does Nietzsche's philosophy assume for it because of its response to the guiding question within Western philosophy that is to say, within metaphysics?
Nietzsche's philosophy is the end of metaphysics, since it reverts to the very commencement of Greek thought, taking up such thought in a way that is peculiar to Nietzsche's philosophy alone. In this way Nietzsche's philosophy closes the ring formed by the very course of inquiry into being as such as a whole. Yet to what extent does Nietzsche's thinking revert to the commencement? When we realize this question, we must be clear about one point at the very outset: Nietzsche hardly recovers the philosophy of the commencement in its pristine form. But, it is nonetheless, shown in the attendance of what is presently a matter of the reemergence of the essential fundamental positions of the commencement in a transformed configuration, in such a way for these positions interlock.
What are the decisive fundamental positions of the commencement? In other words, what sorts of answers are given to the yet undeveloped guiding question, the question what being, is?
The one answer -roughly speaking, it is the answer of Parmenides- tells us, that being is. An odd sort of answer, no doubt, yet a very deep one, since that very response determines for the first time and for all thinkers to come, including Nietzsche, the meaning of ‘is and Being’ - permanence and presence, that is, the eternal present.
The other answer - roughly speaking, that of Heraclitus - tells us that being becomes. The being is in being by virtue of its permanent becoming. It’s -unfolding and eventual dissolution.
To what extent is Nietzsche's thinking the end? That is to say, how does it stretch back to both these fundamental determinations of being so that they come to interlock? Precisely to the extent that Nietzsche argues that being is as fixated, as permanent, and that it is in perpetual creation and destruction. Yet beings are both, not in an extrinsic way, as one beside another; rather, being is in its very ground perpetual creation (Becoming), while as creation it needs what is fixed. Creation needs what is fixed, first, to overcome it, and second, ion order to have something that has yet to be fixated, something that enables the creative to advance beyond it and be transfigured. The essence of being is Becoming, but what becomes is and has been only in creative transfiguration. What is and what becomes are fused in the fundamental thought that what becomes is inasmuch as in creation it becomes being and is becoming? Both such becoming-a-being become a being that comes-to-be, and does so in the perpetual transformation of what has become firmly fixed and intractable to something made firm in a liberating
Transfiguration.
The text is extraordinarily difficult to unravel Dieses Seiendwerden aber wird zum werdenden Seienden im standigen Werden des Festgewordenen als eines Erstarrten zum Festgemachten, als der befreienden Verklarung. The oxymorons of this highly involuted sentence dramatize the inevitable petrifaction of Becoming in some metaphysics of Being. Only as permanence of presence can Become to be. The wording of the sentence in Heidegger's original manuscript (1937) varies only slightly from the 1961 Neske text. Yet a series of energetic lines draws the word befreienden, "liberating," into the sentence, as though to break up all such petrifaction. For the liberating transfiguration of Becoming is what Heidegger elsewhere calls the most intrinsic will of Nietzschean thinking.
Nietzsche once wrote, at the time when the thought of return first loomed on his horizon, during the years 1881 and 1882: "Let us imprint the emblem of eternity on our life" The phrase means: let us introduce an eternalization to ourselves as beings, and hence to beings as a whole; let us introduce the transfiguration of what becomes as something that becomes being; and let us do this as the eternalization arises from being it, originating for being, standing in being.
This fundamental metaphysical demand - that is, a demand that grapples with the guiding question of metaphysics - is expressed several years later in an interminably named "Recapitulation," the title suggesting that the note in just a few sentences provides a resume of the most important aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy. Nietzsche's "Recapitulation" begins with the statement: "To stamp Becoming with the character of Being - that is the supreme will to power." The sense is not that one must brush aside and replace Becoming as the impermanent - for impermanence is what Becoming implies - with being as the permanent. The sense is that one must shape Becoming as in such a way that as becoming, it is preserved, has subsistence, being, is the supreme will to power. In such receiving the will to power comes to prevail most purely in its essence.
As this series relates, Heidegger employs the "Recapitulation,” yet Recapitulation stems not from Nietzsche him but from his assistant and later editor Heinrich Kuselitz (Peter Gast). Furthermore, the sentences from this long note that Heidegger neglects to cite by no means corroborate the use he makes of it. To stamp Becoming with the character of Being - that is the supreme will to power. Twofold falsification, one by the senses, the other by the mind, in order to preserve a world of being, of parturiency, of equivalence, etc.
That everything recurs is the close’s approximation of a world of Becoming to one of Being: peak of the meditation. The condemnation of and dissatisfaction with whatever transformations derives from values that are attributable to being: after such a world of Being had first been invented.
It has metamorphosed of being (body, God, ideas, laws of nature, formulas, etc.) "Being" as semblance, the inversion of values: A semblance was that which conferred value - Knowledge, it is impossible within Becoming, how then is knowledge possible? As error concerning it, as will to power, as will to deception.
Becoming an impulsive determination - denial, the overcoming of one, not a subject but doing, establishing creative, nor "causes and/or effects."
Art as the will to overcome Becoming, as "eternalization," but shortsighted, depending on perspective repeating a small scale, as it was, the tendency of the whole. What all life exhibits, to be observed as a reduced formula for the universal tendency: Hence a new grip on the idea "life" as will to power. Instead of "cause and effect," the mutual struggle of things that becomes, often with the absorption of the opponent: The enumeration of things of becoming non-constant. Inefficacy of the old ideals for interpreting the whole of occurrence, once one has recognized their animal origins and utility, all of them that are contradicting life.
Inefficacy of the mechanistic theory-gives the impression of
Meaninglessness. The entire idealism of humanity until now is about to turn into nihilism - into belief in absolute worthlessness, which is to say, senselessness. Annihilation of ideals, the new desert, the new arts, by means of which we can endure it, amphibians’ presupposition: Bravery, patience, no "turning back" not hurrying forward. (Zarathustra, always parodying prior values, based on his own abundance.)
What is this receiving, in which whatever becomes comes to be being? It is the reconfiguration of what becomes as its supreme possibilities, a reconfiguration in which what becomes is transfigured and attains subsistence in it’s very dimensions and domains. This receiving is a creating. To create, in the sense of creation out beyond one, is most intrinsically this: to stand in the moment of decision, in which what has prevailed hitherto, our endowment, is directed toward a projected task. When it is so directed, the endowment is preserved. The "momentary" character of creation is the essence of actual, actuating eternity, which achieves its greatest breadth and keenest edge as the moment of eternity in the return of the same. The receiving of what becomes into being - will to power in its supreme configuration - is in its most profound essence something that occurs in the "glance of an eye" as eternal recurrence of the same. The will to power, as constitution of being, is as it is solely from the way to be which Nietzsche projects for being as a whole: Will to power, in its essence and according to its inner possibility is eternal recurrence of the same?
The aptness of our interpretation is demonstrated unequivocally in that very fragment that bears the title "Recapitulation." After the statement we have already cited - "To stamp Becoming with the character of Being - that is the supreme will to power" - we soon read the following sentence: "That everything reverted may bring the close’s approximation of a world of Becoming to one of Being: peak of the meditation." Saying it in a more lucid fashion would scarcely be possible, first, how and on what basis the stamping of Being on Becoming is meant to be even and precisely during the period when the thought of will to power appears to attain preeminence, remains the thought that Nietzsche's philosophy things without a cease.
Nevertheless, we ought to pay close attention to the phrases that follow the god's name in these titles: "Philosophy of eternal return," or simply "philosophos."
Such phrases suggest that what the word’s Dionysos and Dionysian mean to Nietzsche will be heard and understood only if the "eternal return of the same" is thought. In turn, which eternally recurs as the same and in such wise is, that is, perpetually presences, has the ontological constitution of "will to power." The mythic name Dionysos will become an epithet thought through in the sense intended by Nietzsche the thinker only when we try to think the coherence of "will to power" and "eternal returns of the same.” That means only when we seek those determinations of Being that from the outset of Greek thought guides all thinking about being as such and as a whole. (Two texts that appeared several years ago treat the matters of Dionysos and the Dionysian: Walter F. Otto, Dionysos: Myth and Cult, 1933. Karl Reinhardt, "Nietzsche's 'Plaint of Ariadne, ‘" in the journal Die Antike, 1935. Heidegger's original manuscript from the summer of 1937 does not show these paragraphs. Surprisingly, there is no extant, Abschrift or typescript of this course; nor is the typescript that went to the printer in 1961 available for inspection. As a result, the date of the passage remains uncertain. My own surmise is that Heidegger added the note not long after the semester ended, the reference to students questions and to those tow works on Dionysos that had recently been published make it highly unlikely that the note was added as late as 1960-61. The work’s Heidegger refers us to are of course still available - and is still very much wroth reading. Walter F. Otto, Dionysos: Mythos and Kultus (Frankfurt am Main: V. Klostermann, 1933): Reinhardt's Nietzsche's “Klage der Ariadne, appears now in Karl Reinhardt, Vermachtrus der Antike Gesammelte Essays zur Philosophie und Geschichtsschreiburg, edited by Carl Becker (Gottingen: Vandernhock & Ruprecht, 1960).
Nietzsche conjoins in one both of the fundamental determinations of being that emerge from the commencement of Western philosophy to wit, being as becoming and being as permanence. That ‘one’ is his essential thought - the eternal recurrence of the same.
Yet can we designate Nietzsche's way of grappling with the commencement of Western philosophy as an end? Is it not rather a reawakening of the commencement? Is it not therefore it a commencement and hence the very opposite of an end? Nonetheless Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position is the end of Western philosophy. For what is decisive, is not that the fundamental determinations of the commencement are conjoined and that Nietzsche's thinking stretches back to the commencement, what is, metaphysically essential it the way in which these things become known? The question is whether Nietzsche reverts to the incipient commencement, to the commencement as a commencing. Here our answer must be: no, he does not.
Neither Nietzsche nor any thinkers before him - even and especially not that one who before Nietzsche first thought the history of philosophy in a philosophical way, namely, Hegel - revert to the incipient commencement. Rather, they invariably apprehend the commencement in the sole light of a philosophy in decline from it, a philosophy that arrests the commencement - to wit, the philosophy of Plato. Here we cannot demonstrate this matter in any detail Nietzsche him quite early characterizes his philosophy as inverted Platonism. However, the inversion does not eliminate the fundamentally Platonic position. Rather, precisely because it seems to eliminate the Platonic position, Nietzsche's inversion represents the entrenchment of that position.
What remains essential, however, is the following: when Nietzsche's metaphysical thinking reverts to the commencement, the circle closes. Yet because it is the already terminated commencement and not the incipient one that prevails there, the circle it grows inflexible, loses whatever of the commencement it once had. When the circle closes in this way, it no longer releases any possibilities for essential inquiry into the guiding question. Metaphysic - treatment of the guiding question - is at an end. That seems a bootless, comfortless insight, a conclusion that like a dying tone signals ultimate cessation. Yet this is not so.
Because Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position is the end of metaphysics in the designated sense, it performs the grandest and most profound gathering - that is, accomplishment - of all the essential fundamental positions in Western philosophy since Plato and in the light of Platonism. It does so form within some fundamental position remains an actual, actuating fundamental metaphysical position only if it in turn is developed in all its essential forces and regions of dominion in the direction of its counterpoison. For thinking that looks beyond it. Nietzsche's philosophy, which is inherently a turning against what lies behind it, must it become a forward-looking counter position. Yet since Nietzsche's fundamental position in Western metaphysics constitutes the end of that metaphysic, it can be the counter position. For our other commencement only if the later adopts a questioning stance compared with the initial commencement - as one that in its proper originality is only now commencing. After everything we have said, the questioning intended here can only be the unfolding of a more original inquiry. Such questioning must be the unfolding of the prior, all-determining, and commanding question of philosophy, the guiding question, "What is being?" out of it and out beyond it.
Nietzsche once chose a phrase to designate what we are calling his fundamental metaphysical position, a phrase that is often cited and is readily taken as a way to characterize his philosophy armour factum, love of necessity. Yet the phrase expresses Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position only when we understand, the two words armour and factum - and, above all, their conjunctions about Nietzsche's own-most thinking, only when we avoid mixing our fortunately familiar notions into it.
Often enough, In have asked my if In am not more profoundly indebted to the most difficult years of my life than to any of the others. What my innermost nature instructs me is that all necessity - viewed from the heights, about an economy on a grand scale - is also what is inherently useful: one should not merely put up with it, one should love it . . . Armour fati: That is, the innermost nature. Nietzsche repeats the formula twice in An Ecce Homo, the first time as the ultimate explanation of his "discernment.”
"My formula for greatness in a human being armour fati - love of necessity: That one does not will to have anything different, and not to be placed forward or back nor in any which way that proves immeasurably eternal. Not merely to bear necessity, though must less to cloak it - all Idealism is mendacity in the face of necessity - but to love." Nietzsche, Ecce Homo.
Nietzsche had first cited the formula six years earlier, at the outset of Book IV of The Gay Science, as the very essence of affirmation”: In want to learn better how to see the necessity in things as what is beautiful - in that way In will become one of those who make things beautiful. Armour fati: let this be my love from now on.
He had written to Franz Overbeck, also in 1882, that he was possessed of "a fatalistic trust in God which he preferred to call armour fati. He boasted, "In would stick my head down a lion's throat, not to mention. . . . " The fullest statement concerning Amor fati, however appears from spring-summer, although the note as a whole. The action produced by instincts e merit reprinting, and rereading, the following extract contains the essential lines. Nietzsche explains that his experimental philosophy, which aims to advance beyond nihilism to the very opposite of nihilism.
To a Dionysian yes-saying to the world as it is, without reduction, exception, or selection; it wants eternal circulation - the same things, the same logic and dialogic of implication. Supreme state to which a philosopher may attain; taking a stand in Dionysian fashion on behalf of existence. A formula for this is armour fati.
Amor - love - is to be understood as will, the will that wants whatever it loves to be what it is in its essence. The supreme will have this kind, the most expansive and decisive will, is the will as transfiguration. Such a will builds and exposes what it wills in its essence to the supreme possibilities of its Being.
The thinker explores its being as a whole and as such, in that, the world for-itself might be conceived of as such. Thus with his very first step he always thinks out beyond the world, and so at the same time back to it. He thinks in the direction of that sphere within which a world becomes the world. Whenever that sphere is not incessantly called by name, called aloud, wherever it is held silently in the most interior questioning, it is thought most purely and profoundly. For what is held in silence is genuinely preserved, as preserved it is most intimate and actual. What to common sense looks like "atheism," and has to look like it, is at bottom the very opposite. In the same, wherever the matters of death and of nothingness is treated. Being and Being alone is thought most deeply - whereas those who ostensibly occupy themselves solely with "reality" flounder in nothingness.
Atheism, is the denial of or lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods. The term atheism comes from the Greek prefix à, meaning “without,” and the Greek word theos, meaning “deity.” The denial of god’s existence is also known as strong, or positive, atheism, whereas the lack of belief in god is known as negative, or weak, atheism. Although atheism is often contrasted with agnosticism-the view that we cannot know whether a deity exists or not and should therefore suspend belief-negative atheism is in fact compatible with agnosticism.
Atheism has wide-ranging implications for the human condition. In the absence of belief in god, ethical goals must be determined by secular (nonreligious) aims and concerns, human beings must take full responsibility for their destiny, and death marks the end of a person’s existence. As of 1994 there were an estimated 240 million atheists around the world comprising slightly more than 4 percent of the world’s population, including those who profess atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion. The estimate of nonbelievers increases significantly, to about twenty-one percent of the world’s population, if negative atheists are included.
From ancient times, people have at times used atheism as a term of abuse for religious positions they opposed. The first Christians were called atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman deities. Over time, several misunderstandings of atheism have arisen: that atheists are immoral, that morality cannot be justified without belief in God, and that life has no purpose without belief in God. Yet there is no evidence that atheists are any less moral than believers. Many systems of morality have been developed that do not presuppose the existence of a supernatural being. Moreover, the purpose of human life may be based on secular goals, such as the betterment of humankind.
In Western society the term atheism has been used more narrowly to refer to the denial of theism, in particular Judeo-Christian theism, which asserts the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good personal being. This being created the universe, took an active interest in human concerns, and guides his creatures through divine disclosure known as revelation. Positive atheists reject this theistic God and the associated beliefs in an afterlife, a cosmic destiny, a supernatural origin of the universe, an immortal soul, the revealed nature of the Bible and the Qur'an (Koran), and a religious foundation for morality.
Theism, however, is not a characteristic of all religions. Some religions reject theism but are not entirely atheistic. Although the theistic tradition is fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, earlier Hindu writings known as the Upanishads teach that Brahman (ultimate reality) is impersonal. Positive atheists reject even the pantheistic aspects of Hinduism that equate God with the universe. Several other Eastern religions, including Theravada Buddhism and Jainism, are commonly believed to be atheistic, but this interpretation is not strictly correct. These religions do reject a theistic God believed to have created the universe, but they accept numerous lesser gods. At most, such religions are atheistic in the narrow sense of rejecting theism.
One of the most controversial works of 19th-century philosophy, Thus, Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885) articulated German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s theory of the Übermensch, a term translated as “Superman” or “Overman.” The Superman was an individual who overcame what Nietzsche termed the “slave morality” of traditional values, and lived according to his own morality. Nietzsche also advanced his idea that “God is dead,” or that traditional morality was no longer relevant in people’s lives. In this passage, the sage Zarathustra came down from the mountain where he had spent the last ten years alone to preach to the people.




In the Western intellectual world, nonbelief in the existence of God is a widespread phenomenon with a long and distinguished history. Philosophers of the ancient world such as Lucretius were nonbelievers. Even in the Middle Ages (the 5th thru into the 15th century) there were currents of thought that questioned theist assumptions, including skepticism, the doctrine that true knowledge is impossible, and naturalism, the belief that only natural forces control the world. Several leading thinkers of the Enlightenment (1700-1789) were professed atheists, including Danish writer Baron Holbach and French encyclopedist Denis Diderot. Expressions of nonbelief also are found in classics of Western literature, including the writings of English poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron; English novelist Thomas Hardy; French philosophers’ Voltaire and Jean-Paul Sartre; Russian author Ivan Turgenev; also, included is the American writer’s Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair. In the 19th century the most articulate and best-known atheists and critics of religion were German philosopher’s Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche. British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and Sartre are among the 20th century’s most influential atheists.
Nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was an influential critic of religious systems, especially Christianity, which he felt chained society to a herd morality. By declaring that “God is dead,” Nietzsche signified that traditional religious belief in God no longer played a central role in human experience. Nietzsche believed we would have to find secular justifications for morality to avoid nihilism - the absence of all belief.
Atheists justify their philosophical position in several different ways. Negative atheists attempt to establish their position by refuting typical theist arguments for the existence of God, such as the argument from first cause, the argument from design, the ontological argument, and the argument from religious experience. Other negative atheists assert that any statement about God is meaningless, because attributes such as all-knowing and all-powerful cannot be comprehended by the human mind. Positive atheists, on the other hand, defend their position by arguing that the concept of God is inconsistent. They question, for example, whether a God who is all-knowing can also be all-good and how a God who lacks bodily existence can be all-knowing.
Some positive atheists have maintained that the existence of evil makes the existence of God improbable. In particular, atheists assert that theism commonly defends the existence of evil by claiming that God desires that human beings have the freedom to choose between good and evil, or that the purpose of evil is to build human character, such as the ability to persevere. Positive atheists counter that justifications for evil in terms of human free will leave unexplained why, for example, children suffer because of genetic diseases or abuse from adults. Arguments that God allows pain and suffering to build human character fail, in turn, to explain why there was suffering among animals before human beings evolved and why human character could not be developed with less suffering than occurs in the world. For atheists, a better explanation for the presence of evil in the world is that God does not exist.
In an Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (first published in 1748 under a different title), Scottish philosopher David Hume offers several criticisms of religious belief, including an argument against belief in miracles. According to Hume, testimony about the occurrence of miracles should be subjected to rational standards of evidence.
Atheists have also criticized, but historical evidence used to support belief in the major theistic religions. For example, atheists have argued that a lack of evidence casts doubt on important doctrines of Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because such events are said to represent miracles, atheists assert that extremely strong evidence is necessary to support their occurrence. According to atheists, the available evidence to support these alleged miracles-from Biblical, pagan, and Jewish sources -is weak, and therefore such claims should be rejected.
Atheism is primarily a reaction to, or a rejection of, religious belief, and thus does not determine other philosophical beliefs. Atheism has sometimes been associated with the philosophical ideas of materialism, which holds that only matter exists: Communism, with which it asserts that religion impedes human progress, and rationalism, for which of emphasizing analytic reasoning over other sources of knowledge. However, there is no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. Some atheists have opposed communism and some have rejected materialism. Although nearly all contemporary materialists are atheists, the ancient Greek materialist Epicurus believed the gods were made of matter in the form of atoms. Rationalists such as French philosopher René Descartes have believed in God, whereas atheists such as Sartre are not considered to be rationalists. Atheism has also been associated with systems of thought that reject authority, such as anarchism, a political theory opposed to all forms of government, and existentialism, a philosophic movement that emphasizes absolute human freedom of choice; There is however no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. British analytic philosopher A. J. Ayer was an atheist who opposed existentialism, while Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was an existentialist who accepted God. Marx was an atheist who rejected anarchism while Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, a Christian, embraced anarchism. Because atheism in a strict sense is merely a negation, it does not provide a comprehensive world-view. It is therefore not possible to presume other philosophical positions to be outgrowths of atheism.
Intellectual debate over the existence of God continues to be active, especially on college campuses, in religious discussion groups, and in electronic forums on the Internet. In contemporary philosophical thought, atheism has been defended by British philosopher Antony Flew, Australian philosopher John Mackie, and American philosopher Michael Martin, among others.
Supremely thoughtful utterance does not consist simply in growing taciturn when it is a matter of saying what is properly to be said; it consists in saying the matter in such a way that it is named in nonsaying. The utterance of thinking is a telling silence. Such utterance corresponds to the most profound essence of language, which has its origin in silence. As one in touch with telling silence, the thinker, in a way peculiar to him, rises to the rank of a poet, yet he remains eternally distinct from the poet, just as the poet in turn remains eternally distinct from the thinker. Everything in the hero's sphere turns to tragedy. Everything in the demigod’s sphere turns to play and in God’s sphere turns to . . . to what? "World" perhaps? Erschweigen, an active or telling silence, is what Heidegger elsewhere discusses under the rubric of sigetics (from the Greed sigao, to keep silent). For him it is the power "logic" of a thinking that looks into are made into.
In the months before his final descent into madness, Friedrich Nietzsche made the following declaration and prediction: "In know my destiny. Someday my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous, a crisis like no other on earth, the profoundest collision of conscience, a decision conjured up against everything believed, required, and held sacredly up to that time. In am not a man; In am dynamite."
So he was. The man who practised and perfected the art of "philosophizing with a hammer," who pronounced that "God is dead," who called on his readers to follow him in exploring regions "beyond good and evil," who gleefully declared him the Antichrist, who unconditionally denounced human equality and democracy, who claimed that "a great war hallows any cause," who praised the "blond beast" who "might come away from a revolting succession of murder, arson, rape, [and] torture with a sense of exhilaration and emotional equilibrium, as if it were nothing but a student prank"-this man was indeed explosive. One might even say that today, more than one hundred years after European intellectuals discovered his work, Western culture has yet to come to terms with the fallout produced by the detonation of his most volatile ideas.
In the epilogue to his Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography, Rüdiger Safranski catalogues the philosopher's influence, and it reads like a comprehensive intellectual history of the twentieth century. The irrationalist vitalism that helped to inspire fascism, artistic movements from symbolism to art nouveau, expressionism, and Dada, wherefore Ernst Jünger's high-spirited militarism and Heideggerian existentialism, also an antimodernism for which the Counter-Enlightenment critical theory of the postwar Frankfurt School, began its vicious surrealism of Georges Bataille, and through him, the varying postmodern irrationalisms of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida: The neopragmatic conviction that "truth is an illusion that helps us cope with life" - as, these and many other radical cultural, intellectual, and political movements descend directly from Nietzsche: They are his legacies to our time.
For some-primarily those who take their intellectual bearings from outside the thorough Nietzscheanized humanities departments of the modern university, and the handful of conservative dissenters within them-there will be little in this legacy of atheistic immoderation to admire. However we judge the often decadent productions of twentieth-century high culture, and Nietzsche him continues to merit the most serious attention, and not merely because of his considerable influence. The fact remains that Nietzsche is one of the most brilliant philosophers and prose stylists in the history of Western letters. His formidable challenge to so much that so many of us continue to hold dear cannot simply be ignored by thoughtful men and women.
Yet how ought we to approach the task of evaluating Nietzsche's work? The answer is far from clear. For Nietzsche is a deeply contradictory thinker, and glancing at the dozens of books devoted to his thought in the philosophy section of any good bookshop, it can seem that there are, in fact, many of Nietzsche. Most scholars have assumed that his work amounts to a defence of radical right-wing politics, but many today think him more compatible with the far left. His books contain many misogynistic passages, but that has not discouraged feminists from claiming to find support for their program in his ideas. Some think his teaching is meant to inspire public actions, but many others have seen in his writing an aesthetic calls to private cultivation and creativity. Competent scholars have declared that his work is hopelessly incoherent, while at least one leading philosopher has claimed that Nietzsche was the "last great metaphysician in the West." Then there are those who think that Nietzsche's texts can and should mean anything to which their readers want them. This abundance of interpretations makes any attempt to render an informed and comprehensive judgment of his work exceedingly difficult.
Safranski also is a master of what might be called philosophical narration, drawing on just the right amount of detail from Nietzsche's personal background and historical milieu to provide a context for his philosophy while rarely allowing those details to overshadow the ideas that form the core of Nietzsche's life.
The Nietzsche that emerges from Safranski's study is a man who, from his teenage years until his mental collapse at the age of forty-five, tirelessly devoted his formidable intellect to making sense of the world about its intrinsic meaninglessness. The case of Nietzsche thus presents us with the peculiar spectacle of a philosopher who began his intellectual life, not from a position of openness to an elusive truth not yet grasped, but than from an unshakable conviction that he had already found it -and that all of the human experiences and history had, had to be reconceived in its light.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844 in the small village of Röcken, Germany. His father, Pastor Karl Ludwig Nietzsche, died five years later of "softening of the brain," leaving Nietzsche to be raised (along with his sister Elisabeth) by his mother, Franziska, and two unmarried aunts. The young Nietzsche was both intellectually precocious and astonishingly -absorbed. He wrote his first philosophical essay, "On the Origin of Evil," at the age of twelve. By thirteen, he had written his first autobiography. He would go on to write eight more over the next ten years, each of them concluding that, in Safranski's words, "his life was exemplary."
Despite Nietzsche's early penchant for an aggrandizement, -a tendency that would mark all of his written work-both he and his family believed for some time that he would follow in his father's footsteps to become a pastor. However, at some point between 1859 and 1861, while Nietzsche attended an elite boarding school, he began to break decisively with his faith. Although he asserted in his 1859 autobiography that "God has guided me safely in everything as a father would be his weak little child," by May 1861 he had concluded that the idea of God was, in Safranski's words, "unfathomable," because there were simply "too much intense injustice and evil in the world."
Others quickly followed these first tentative steps away from Christianity. In an essay composed on his Easter vacation in 1862, the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche would wonder "how our view of the world might change if there were no God, immortality, Holy Spirit, or divine inspiration, and if the tenets of millennia were based on delusions." Safranski explains how this thought quickly generated a series of puzzles that would set Nietzsche's philosophical agenda for the rest of his life: "Might that we have been 'led astray by a vision' for such a long time? What kinds of reality are left behind once religious phantasms have been taken away?"
Over the next few years, Nietzsche would wrestle with his suspicion that all received truths are illusory. Although he had planned to study theological and classical philology at the University of Bonn when he arrived there in the fall of 1864, he dropped his concentration in Theology after a single semester. By the following summer, he would write to his sister that, although continuing it believing in the comforting tales of their youth would be easy, "the truth is not necessarily in a league with the beautiful and the good." On the contrary, he wrote, the truth can be "detestable and ugly in the extreme."
From this point on, Nietzsche would devote his life to breaking from-and then reflecting on how people might thrive after having left behind"the first and last things." Early in his university education, Nietzsche thought of him as continuing the work of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, whom he described as his "liberator" from dogma and tradition. As Safranski writes, Schopenhauer confirmed Nietzsche's youthful intuition that "the inner nature of the world is based not on reason and intellect but on impulses and dark urges, dynamic and senseless." "True life," Schopenhauer claimed, is pure "will," which "roars behind or underneath it." The challenge was learning how to live because of the truth that all apparent meaning and purpose in life is in fact an illusion. At first Nietzsche was intrigued by Schopenhauer's own proposal-the - negation of the will, culminating in quasi-Buddhistic peace and passivity - but he soon rejected it on the grounds that it amounted to an attitude of defeat in the face of "nothingness." Nietzsche longed to find a way to love and affirm life, despite its meaninglessness.
Such concerns preoccupied his thinking as he continued his education in classical philology under the renowned scholar Friedrich Ritschl, first at Bonn, and then at the University of Leipzig. So impressed was Ritschl by his student that in 1869 he recommended Nietzsche for a professorship at the University of Basel before he had completed either his dissertation or postgraduate thesis-an honour as rare in the nineteenth century as it is today. When Nietzsche finally produced a monograph, The Birth of Tragedy (1872), the expectations were thus very high among his colleagues. They did not anticipate that Nietzsche would completely forsake the scholarly norms of the philological profession to write a highly speculative, even revolutionary account of ancient Greek culture that his own existential fixations largely inspired.
All of Nietzsche's work begins from the assumption that, viewed in it, the world is a meaningless and purposeless chaos. As he would write in his notebooks in 1888, less than a year before his mental breakdown, "For a philosopher to say, 'the good and the beautiful are one,' is infamy; if he goes on to add, 'also the true,' one ought to thrash him. Truth is ugly." In the Birth of Tragedy and the shorter essays he wrote in the early and mid-1870s, Nietzsche proposed that human beings "can become healthy, strong, and fruitful" only when they live within an "enveloping atmosphere" that protects them from having to face this ugly truth without mediation. The enveloping atmosphere consists of protective illusions that come to be taken as truths by those who live within its "horizon," which enables them to "endure without being destroyed." Nevertheless, these second-order truths-or "myths"-must not entirely conceal the meaninglessness over which they cover. Rather, the myths must grant partial access to the authentic truth. In its translucence to truth, the mythical horizon allows human beings to both face and "forget" the ugliness in just the right proportions.
The Birth of Tragedy is an interpretation of how the ancient Greeks achieved this balance between truth and untruth more perfectly than any other culture in history and why that balance eventually collapsed; it also suggests how German culture might find an analogous state of equilibrium in modern times. Nietzsche associates the impulses or drives that enabled the Greeks to live and thrive in the partial light of the "terror and horror of existence" with the Olympian gods of Apollo and Dionysus; he claims that in different but complementary ways they made possibly the "continuous redemption" of the "eternally suffering and contradictory" character of the world.
The first of these impulses - the Apollonian responded to the "mysterious ground of our being" by answering our "ardent longing for illusion." It used beauty and artistry, measures and proportion to conceal from the Greeks, at least partially, the "substratum of suffering and of knowledge," and left the individual half-conscious "in his tossing bark, amid the waves" of human existence, in a kind of "waking dream." According to Nietzsche, Sophocles' Antigone, with its stark and yet balanced conflicts between competing duties, stands as a particularly vivid example of the Apollonian in action.
Nevertheless, conceiving it cannot grasp the full accomplishment of Greek tragedy entirely about Apollonian dreams. The contrary Dionysian impulse must complement it, which pulled in a very different direction. In a frenzy of intoxication, which Nietzsche associates with the orgiastic violence of the ancient world's Bacchic festivals, the Dionysian at once exposed the "mysterious primordial unity" from which all things spring and produced ‘complete-forgetfulness’ by individuals. This ‘mystic feeling of oneness’ culminated in a transfiguring experience in which man ‘feels him a god [and] walks about enchanted, in ecstasy, like the theologies he saw walking in his [Apollonian] dreams.’
According to Nietzsche, the Greeks achieved greatness by synthesizing their Apollonian and Dionysian drives in the tragic dramas of Aeschylus and Sophocles. In the greatest of their plays, the Greeks were exposed to the ideal quantities of truth and illusion. In a play such as Oedipus Rex, they were granted a glimpse of the abyss, and yet that glimpse was so artfully presented in "an Apollonian world of images" that their "nausea" was transformed into "notions with which one can live."
Nonetheless, the tragic balance was extremely difficult to maintain. Nietzsche claims that the democratic character, heightened - consciousness, and "cheerfulness" of Euripides' plays signalled that the tragic age of Greece was ending. Yet the deepest cause of its demise could be found elsewhere, in a "newborn demon," whose approach to life so opposed the Dionysian element in Aeschylean tragedy that it was subsequently vanquished from the Greek stage, and from now on from the history of the West. That demon was none other than Socrates.
The middle chapters of The Birth of Tragedy contain what might be the most forceful critique of Socrates since Aristophanes lampooned him in The Clouds during the ancient philosopher's own lifetime. Nietzsche contends that Socrates stood in profound opposition to the "drunken revelry" of tragedy, falsely teaching human beings that "using the thread of causality, [they could] penetrate the deepest abysses of being." Even worse, he taught that "to be beautiful" something must be "intelligible," and that "knowledge is a virtue." The Socratic "theoretical man" lives to uncover the truth at all costs, if doing so will be an unambiguous benefit to people. While the tragedians had understood the importance of the surface of things, the Socratic philosopher, stubbornly and naively convinced of the goodness of truth, pursues it without restraint and the results are catastrophic.
In the first formulation of an argument he will greatly refine in his later work, Nietzsche claims that the philosopher's headlong lunge toward the truth ends up exposing the "lies concealed in the essence of logic." When this happens when the philosopher uncovers the fact that logic is a human construction imposed on the chaos of reality - logic effectively "bites its own tail" and refutes it. In Nietzsche's view, this is exactly what has happened in the hyperlogical culture of the modern world: The theoretical optimism first defended by Socrates had reached a kind of end in which human beings begin to sense the awful truth that its most fundamental premises are fictions. They have thus also begun to grasp (in Nietzsche's own work) the wisdom of the pre-Socratic tragedians, who understood, if only half-consciously, that people "needs art as a protection and a remedy" for truth.
That modern man confronts an unprecedented crisis of meaninglessness is a view that Nietzsche would hold throughout his career. What changed was his account of how it came about and his proposal for how we should respond to it. In his early work, he believes that modern man requires a new "beautiful illusion" to replace the crumbling Socratic culture of the West. This new mythology would serve the same function that the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles did for the Greeks. When it comes to specifying where we might find a new mythology to accomplish this much needed "rebirth of tragedy," Nietzsche announces with considerable bombast that it will arise from the neopagan, mythopoetic operas of Richard Wagner.
Nietzsche had met Wagner in 1868 and quickly developed an intense friendship with the composer and his wife, Cosima von Bülow. Over the next few years, the three shared their innermost cultural and philosophical hopes with one another-so much so, in fact, that by the time of the publication of his first book, Nietzsche could write to a friend that "In have formed an alliance with Wagner. You cannot imagine how close we are now and how fully our plans mesh." Those plans, unveiled in the final third of The Birth of Tragedy, involved nothing less than the satiation of modern man's spiritual "hunger" by giving him a neotragic horizon within which the "significance of life" could be "redeemed" just as it had been for the pre-Socratic Greeks.
It is hardly surprising that Nietzsche's colleagues greeted his book with a mixture of incomprehension and disdain. Expecting the philological prodigy to produce an exercise in meticulous scholarship, they were shocked to discover that he had chosen instead to issue a rallying cry to cultural revolution. What Safranski fittingly describes as Nietzsche's academic "excommunication" began almost immediately. Over the next few years, he divided his time between convalescing from a series of illnesses, reaching a handful of students he deemed "incompetent," and writing most brilliantly but decidedly nonacademic essays on Schopenhauer, Wagner, David Friedrich Strauss, and "The Benefits and Drawbacks of History for Life." His alienation from academic life finally culminated in his resignation from the University of Basel in 1879. He would spend the next ten years as a nomad travelling throughout Germany, Switzerland, and Italy while devoting him almost entirely to philosophical reflection and writing.
Although Nietzsche's work continued to show signs of Wagner's influence for several years after the publication of The Birth of Tragedy, the two men gradually drifted apart during the 1870s. As Safranski suggests, Nietzsche eventually became disillusioned with his own early proposals to cure modern disillusionment. While Nietzsche once hoped that Wagner could inspire a renewal of meaning and purpose in modernity, by the end of the decade he had come to consider the composer a purveyor of kitsch who embodied the most decadent aspects of modern culture. It is even possible to say that Nietzsche wrote his next major work, Human, All Too Human (1878), to inure him against the kinds of hopes that Wagner's music had inspired in him.
If Nietzsche began his earliest philosophical reflections from the assumption that "truth is ugly"- and that all meaning arises out of a creative attempt to cope with this ugliness-the post-Wagner Nietzsche was, if anything, more radical in his refusal to accept any "metaphysical solace." As before, modern man had fallen into meaninglessness, but now there was no possible redemption from it - and this we were supposed to accept as good news. In Human, All Too Human and Daybreak (1881), and scarcely Voltarean, as Nietzsche exulted in his own capacity to endure with a smile what Pascal had described as the "horror at the infinite immensity of spaces." Not until 1882's The Joyful Science did Nietzsche open upon his developing profundity that characterizes his mature and most justly admired work.
Like its immediate predecessors, The Joyful Science is a collection of numbered aphorisms ranging in length from a few words to several pages. This style, which Nietzsche employs in most of his later works, enables him to shift topics in unpredictable ways. One on art, science, religion, psychology, German Idealism, newspapers, ancient philosophy, Renaissance history, or modern literature might follow an aphorism on politics. Sometimes one aphorism builds on another, producing a sustained argument or interpretation; at other times the jarring juxtaposition between them leads and deliberates disorientation. It is amid the chaotic stream of brilliantly disjointed insights and observations that the reader of The Joyful Science comes upon an aphorism, "The Madman."
Nietzsche begins this one-and-a-half-page masterpiece of modern disenchantment by describing a madman who "lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the marketplace, and cried incessantly: 'In seek God! In seek God!'" Then, as those in the square gawk and laugh at the lunatic with embarrassed disapproval, he cries out: "Where is God? . . . In will tell you. We have killed him-you and me. All of us are his murderers. . . . God is dead. God remains dead, and we have killed him.
Nietzsche was hardly the first modern figure to espouse atheism. The most radical writers of the Enlightenment suspected that God was a fiction created by the human mind. G.W.F. Hegel famously declared that modernity is "Good Friday without Easter Sunday." Throughout the nineteenth century, a series of authors, from Ludwig Feuerbach and Karl Marx to Charles Darwin, claimed that religion is a human projection onto a spiritually lifeless world. Nietzsche agreed with this tradition in every respect but one. Whereas most modern atheists viewed their lack of piety as an unambiguous good - as a mark of their liberation from the dead weight of authority and tradition - Nietzsche responded to his insight into the amoral chaos at the heart of the world with considerable pathos. If in Human, All Too Human and Daybreak he flirted with the facile cheerfulness so common to his fellow atheists, beginning with an aphorism of The Joyful Science, Nietzsche showed that he now understood with greater depth that the passing of God has potentially devastating consequences for Western Civilization. This is the madman's requiem aeternam deo: But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Where is it moving now? Where are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us?
If God is dead, then man has completely lost his orientation. There are no human dignity, no equality, no rights, no democracy, no liberalism, and no good and evil. In the light of Nietzsche's insight, a thinker such as Marx looks extraordinarily superficial, railing against religion on the one hand while remaining firmly attached to ideals of justice and equality on the other. He has failed to grasp the simple truth that if God is dead, then nothing at all can be taken for granted-and absolutely everything is permitted.
Still, how could God be dead? The paradox has permeated the idea. If God is who he claims to be, then it is obviously impossible for him to have "bled to death under our knives," as the madman declares. (Of course Christians believe that, as the Son, God did die at our hands, but Nietzsche intends the madman's statements to apply to the triune God in his monotheistic unity.) God may come to be ignored by a world too fixated on earthly goods to notice him, but clearly he is not vulnerable to human malice or indifference. Unless, of course, He never existed in the first place. Perhaps then it would make a kind of poetic sense to speak of God "dying" once people have ceased to believe in him. Here, man would not simply be responsible for killing God, but also for having given birth to him in the first place. Much of Nietzsche's late work defends just such an interpretation, arguing that Western man is equally responsible for creating and destroying God. The most thorough statement of this view can be found in The Genealogy of Morals (1887), which purports to tell the hidden history of morality from its origins to its collapse in the modern age.
At first, there was chaos. All of Nietzsche's books begin from this assumption. The Genealogy departs from those works in asserting that this primordial anarchy consisted of an unfocused, undifferentiated, and purposeless "will to power" that permeated all things. (Whether the will to power merely animates living creatures or acts as a metaphysical force that pervades all of the nature remains unclarified.) The pointless, anarchistic violence that characterized the prehistoric world ended when certain individuals began to focus their will to power on the goal of decisively triumphing over others. When they finally succeeded, these victorious individuals, whom Nietzsche dubs "the strong," foisted the first "moral valuation" onto mankind.
In the strong (or "noble") valuation, the good are nothing other than an expression of what the members of the victorious class do and what they affirm. What they do is triumph ruthlessly over the weak by violence. Likewise, the opposite of the good or the bad - is defined by the convincingly powered, as weakness, or the inability to conquer the strong. Nietzsche illustrates the dynamics of the strong valuation with an infamous image of birds of prey devouring defenceless lambs. The birds of prey do not choose to eat the lambs; There is thus no free will involved and nothing blameworthy about their viciousness. It is simply what they do; what they do is the essence of whom they are; and who they are serves as the measure of good and bad.
Once the meaning of good and bad has been established, a theory of justice grows up on its basis. Justice for the strong amounted to a simple sense of proportionality: when an individual incurs a debt, he must discharge it by repaying it and submitting to retributive punishment. Nietzsche implies that, for the strong, facing wrongdoing and accepting punishment was largely a matter of honour, so in societies governed by the noble valuation justice was usually meted out quickly and brutally.
The preconditions were now in place for the birth of the gods. In Nietzsche's view, polytheistic religions emerged out of the stories that the strong told themselves about their long-forgotten, prehistoric origins. First, they imagined that the founders of their community were just like them, only stronger - and they developed rituals of sacrifice that enabled them to express gratitude and discharge imagined debts to these founders. Then, as their community grew in power and extent over time, the founders that the strong projected onto the past became even stronger. Eventually, the founders became thought of as gods, who served as noble ideals for the strong to emulate as they sought to cultivate their power and cruelty.
According to Nietzsche, it was within this context of divinely sanctioned oppression that an epochal "transvaluations of values" took place. This "slave revolt in morality" began when the weak-out of what Nietzsche calls their ressentiment and their "spirit of revenge" against the strong-started to teach a series of radically new and ingenious ideas. To begin with, they claimed for the first time that there is such a thing as free will, so the brutal actions of the strong, far from being simply "what they do," came to be understood as the result of a choice. The weak then likewise asserted that their own failure to triumph over the strong was a result of the choice to refrain from such actions, rather than an inability to do so. For the slavish revolutionaries, “sin” tempts all human beings to engage in "evil," and the strong are noteworthy above all else for their decision to embrace and even encourage such behaviour, while the weak define their lives by the struggle to resist it. Thus it comes to be that what was formerly considered bad-namely, weakness - is christened as the highest good, while the formerly good-namely, strength - is transformed into evil.
In this way, the slaves (obviously the Jews and their Christian descendants) fashioned a life-denying "ascetic ideal" to replace the life-affirming valuation of the strong. Along with it comes the notion of a new kind of deity - God above all other gods, to whom each of us owes a debt - an "original sin" -so great that we are powerless to discharge it on our own, without his gratuitous gift of redeeming grace. Unlike the gods of the strong, who behaved like outsized brutes whose cruelty served as an attainable ideal for the strong to emulate, the God of the slaves is so transcendently good that all attempts to approximate his holiness inevitably fall short. Far from serving as a healthy ideal, then, the ascetic God ends up negating the world and everything in it, including human beings, by his very existence.
The ascetic ideal that gives birth to God is thus much more complicated than the valuation that preceded it. Whereas the noble valuation grew out of and enhanced the - affirmation of the strong, the slaves believe an ideal that denigrates pride and therefore seeks to diminish and humiliate, yet it, like all valuations, arises from out of and its will to power. As Nietzsche writes in Human, All Too Human, "Man takes positive pleasure in violating him with excessive demands and afterwards idolizing this tyrannically demanding something in his soul. In every ascetic morality, man worships one part of him as a god and in doing so demonizes the other part." In the Genealogy, Nietzsche describes this violent "-, splitting" as an example of how "life" can turn "against life," and, in turn, actually enhance life in new and interesting ways. In seeking to attain the impossible-to become "worthy" of a God whose goodness transcends the world-the ascetic slave directs his own will against it, and thus creates a wholly new form of cultural life founded on guilt and bad conscience. It is a culture of psychological depravity, as individuals, tutored by a new ruling class of priests, come to despise themselves, and never so much as when they begin to experience the least bit of happiness or success.
The priest helps to relieve or avoid the depression caused by the helplessness and homelessness of those unable to express their will to power more directly. For the herd, turning aggression against in the context of the ascetic ideal, than leading to depression, actually relieves or helps to avoid depression related to helplessness and hopelessness. For Nietzsche every sufferer instinctively seeks a cause for his suffering more exactly an agent, still more specifically a guilty agent who is susceptible to suffering - in short, some thing upon which he can, on some pretext or other, vents his effect, actually or in effigy, for the venting of his effect represents. This constitutes the actual physiological cause of ressentiment, vengefulness, and the like: A desire to deaden pain by means of effects.
While Nietzsche is aware of a course in which the individual avoids looking into him and finds an enemy on which to vent his affects, the ascetic priest also helps the suffering individual to seek the cause of his suffering ‘in him, in some guilt, in a piece of the past, he must understand his suffering as a punishment’. The resulting ‘orgy of feeling’ (which would include - pity) is the most effective means of deadening dull, paralysing, protracted pain’. Aggressive drives are also satisfied for the priest and the herd in the fantasies and beliefs about the fate of unbelievers and others who opposes them. Nietzsche refers to Aquinas’ words: ‘The blessed in the kingdom of heaven will see the punishment of the damned in order tat their bliss be more delightful for them’. There is also the more earthbound project of infecting nobler type’s wit bad conscience.
Nietzsche goes on to discuss how philosophers themselves have utilized the ascetic priest as a model, with the ascetic ideal providing a form through which to think, when they posit timeless, changeless, perfect realms of being in relation to which absolute truth is attained and is valued absolutely, animal nature is transcended for pure spirit and death avoided. Nietzsche acknowledges considerably of modern scholarship and science (in the broadest sense of the word as pertaining to various disciplines of contemporary scholarship) as ‘the latest and noblest form’ of the ascetic ideal. (The ascetic priest form of the ascetic ideal is not characterized as noble, perhaps, as White suggests, due to its slave morality and condemnation of sensuality.) Nietzsche writes of philosophers that ‘they all pose as if they had discovered and reached the real opinions through the - development of a cold, pure, divinely unconcerned dialectic.
According to Nietzsche, the faith in truth, in the absolute value of truth, is this metaphysical value, stands or falls with the ascetic ideal. Such faith, with its ‘unconscious imperative’ involves ‘the desire to keep something hidden from one: Science as a means of -narcosis, do you have experience of that? (Of course this does not mean that science must function as -narcosis) The rigid and unconditional’ faith in truth commits one to ‘that venerable philosophers’ abstinence . . . that desire to halt before the factual the factum brutum. . . . That general renunciation of all interpretation’. Among the things thus kept hidden is that what we regard as knowledge involves interpretation - however, from the moment faith in the God of the ascetic ideal is denied, a new problem arises: That of the value of truth [not the possibility of the ruth] . . . the value of truth must for once be experimentally called into question.
In the Genealogy Nietzsche writs on the origin of morality and of the origins and maintenance of civilization as inextricably links with the suppression and then regression instincts, the direction of these instincts turned inward, and ‘internalized of man, with particular emphasis on internalized guilt, including its use for power and control by the likes of the ascetic priest. To adhere in addition of, was for Nietzsche, one of the ways to contain of a bad conscience; develop on the historical plane is by the ‘masters’ or ‘blond beasts of prey’ violently expelling freedom and imposing from upon the ‘slaves’ with the result that the ‘instinct for freedom [is] forcibly made latently - this instinct for freedom pushed back and repressed, incarcerated within the finally able to discharge and vent it only on it: That, and that alone, is what the bad conscience is in its beginning. In this same passing, Nietzsche even goes so far as to state that this initial disaster. . . . Precluded all struggle and even all ressentiment.
Both Jung and Freud were well aware of Nietzsche’s analyses of the ascetic ideal and the ascetic priest (who differs in some ways from the more secluded anchorite) and of his conception of sublimation, including sublimated sexuality and will to power. Nietzsche, writes both of attempts at extirpation of the drives an of how, for example, ‘in Paul the priest wanted power’ and used concepts and symbols to tyrannize, power is sought more than one as well as or others. Nietzsche also specifically wrote of the ‘men and women of sublimated sexuality [who] have made their find in Christianity,’ Freud points out that the anchorite is not one who has necessarily withdrawn his libido into him, but may have found pathology (losing the contact with reality results from such an introversion of the libido.
Paul is a ‘great man’ in Nietzsche’s eyes, and there may even be an identification with him as Nietzsche refers to both Paul’s idea and his own eternal recurrence with the phrase ‘idea of ideas’. Nietzsche considers Pau asa type of ascetic priest who, in the words of Salaquarda, is strong enough ‘to channel the ‘will to nothingness’ of the decadents for a time into another direction. But he also had a hatred of Paul, a hatred of what he felt was Paul’s life - negating attitude toward the things of this earth, particularly his attitude toward the ’flesh’ (or should, one say Paul was not life affirming in a manner Nietzsche would regard creatively and more affirmative than his provisional life-affirming approach channel the will to nothingness?
Nietzsche's account of how the ascetic ideal gives birth to God is ingenious. Still, no less so is his narrative of how it leads to God's death, and its own - destruction. Nietzsche's narrative derives much of its shock effect from the fact that it so profoundly contradicts the dominant story of the rise of modern science, in Nietzsche's time and ours. While modern intellectuals typically argue that science arose opposing the Church, Nietzsche considers science to represent the "perfection" of the same ascetic ideal that originally gave birth to Christianity.
In Nietzsche's view, an unwavering belief in the goodness marks science of truth - and the conviction that one reaches this truth by negating the world in a way that is similar to, but much more radical than, the method employed by Christianity. Christianity claims, for example, that sin stains human life and then negates the former by calling on the righteous to overcome the latter. Nevertheless, science goes much further in its negation of the world, to deny the distinction - or, at least to stress the similarities - between man and "lower" entities. Biology reduces us to the level of other organisms, chemistry tells us that we consist of the same elements as inanimate objects, and physics underlines the continuity between human beings and all the matter in the universe. In the light of modern science, the differentiation of the human world into kinds of things lacks a foundation in the natural world. Science thus dissolves the distinctions that generate meaning as for being possible.
Of course most professional scientists do not follow through so rigorously on the implications of their approach to understanding the world, but that is irrelevant to Nietzsche. What matters to him is that an ethic permeates modern Western culture of ascetic reductionism that seeks to tear down all existing cultural structures. One need not work in a laboratory to further the ascetic ideal. On the contrary, as we learn toward the end of the Genealogy, Nietzsche understands his own thought to represent the ultimate consummation of the ascetic ideal at the moment at which "science" unmasks it as the perfection of the ascetic ideal, and, in turn, discovers that this ideal is an arbitrary valuation projected onto reality to derive a sense of purpose in the face of chaos. It is in this way that the ascetic ideal manages both to give birth to and then to kill the Christian God.
Nietzsche thus concludes the Genealogy as he began The Birth of Tragedy, by asserting that, when faced with the ugly truth of things, humans respond by producing illusions that come to be taken as true-until they are eventually exposed for the lies that they are. The Genealogy adds the twist that this very process is said to be driven by the character of the lies in which Western man has believed. That is, the ascetic ideal is a lie that eventually demands its own exposure as a lie. As Nietzsche writes in the penultimate aphorism of the Genealogy, Unconditional honest atheism . . . is the awe-inspiring catastrophe of two thousand years of training in truthfulness that finally forbids it the lie involved in belief in God.’
How are we to respond to the complete collapse of the moral valuation that has reigned for two millennia? Nietzsche offers no answer in the Genealogy, which ends as it began - with meaningless chaos. Other works are somewhat more helpful, however. The speech of the "madman" from The Joyful Science, for example, provides a hint. Shortly after declaring that we have killed God, the madman asks a series of rhetorical questions: How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
Here Nietzsche shows that the death of God requires that we take his place by becoming a race of gods. The meaning of this extraordinary suggestion is elaborated most fully in Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885), easily the most difficult book in Nietzsche's corpus.
In one of the most fascinating passages of his biography, Safranski recounts how Nietzsche first came to the idea of writing Zarathustra by way of a quasi-revelatory experience of inspiration near the Surlej boulder in the Upper Engadine mountains of Switzerland on August 6, 1881. There, on the shores of an alpine lake, Nietzsche felt as though he were "a mere incarnation, a mere mouthpiece, a mere medium of overpowering forces." The religious character of his experience is fitting, for the book he was inspired to write stands as Nietzsche's answer to the Bible. It tells the story of a man named Zarathustra, who, at the age of thirty, "left his home . . . and went into the mountains" for a life of complete solitude. Then, ten years later, he resolves to return to civilization, to share his incomparable wisdom with humanity.
Upon his return he discovers that, although his fellow human beings are oblivious to the fact that "God is dead," His passing has begun to have significant detrimental effects on people. Among the most memorable passages in Zarathustra is the account of the "last man," who, in God's absence, believes he has "invented happiness." This last man no longer strives for anything great, he is too cautious to stand out from the "herd," he consumes various "poisons" to ensure an "agreeable sleep" and an "agreeable death," and he looks back on all of human history with a smug sense of his own superiority. Such a man is one step away from becoming so "poor and domesticated" that he will no longer "shoot the arrow of his longing beyond man." Without a God to look up to, man is on the verge of becoming less than human.
Yet ours is not an age for despair. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra declares as he gazes in disgust at the last man, "The time has come for man to set him a goal. The time has come for man to plant the seed of his highest hope." The death of God therefore presents, in addition to great dangers, an extraordinary opportunity. While we may very well become subhuman, we may also transform ourselves into something superhuman. Thus does Zarathustra describe his purpose: "In teach you the Overman." Combining the Social Darwinism so common in the late nineteenth century with his own unique brand of anthropo-theological speculation, Nietzsche's Zarathustra announces that "man is something that will be overcome."
What is the ape to man? A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment, and man will be just that for the Overman: A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much as its still the worm that lives . . . Man is a rope tied between beast and Overman-a rope over an abyss. Dangerously across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.
Man, then, is poised to evolve into a god through his own efforts. Still, what will make possible such a monumental transformation? The answer stretches out in the most peculiar doctrine of Nietzsche's philosophy: The "eternal recurrence of the same," which he first (and most lucidly) presented in an allegorical aphorism of The Joyful Science titled "The Greatest Weight." It is worth quoting in its entirety: What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you, "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live again and innumerable times more. There will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything immeasurably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and In my. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again, and you with it, a speck of dust!" Would you not throw your down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him, "You are a god, and never have In heard anything more divine." If this thought found its possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each thing, "Do you desire this again and innumerable times more?" Would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight? Or how well disposed would, but you have to become to your and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?
While this passage makes it sound as if the doctrine of the eternal recurrence serves as a quasi-mythical Kantian postulate-proclaiming that we should act as if it were true despite knowing that it is not - Safranski shows that Nietzsche experienced a kind of euphoria upon discovering what he thought was definitive scientific evidence for its reality and truth. Apparently Nietzsche believed that the finite amount of matter and energy in the universe, combined with its temporal infinity, implied (in Safranski's words) that "all possible events concerning both the animate and the inanimate realms have already taken place, and . . . will recur without end."
No matter whether Nietzsche considered the doctrine to be scientifically verifiable or merely a substitute for the neopagan Wagnerian myths he embraced in his youth, there can be no doubt that he thought of it as the key to man's absolute affirmation of him and the world - and even (what may amount to the same thing) his own - divination. As the allegory of the demon makes clear, Nietzsche believed that if human beings could come to incorporate the eternal recurrence into their view of the world-to view every second of their lives as a moment worthy of being repeated infinite times, rather than as a prelude to a truer or better world to come-they would, in effect, confer the dignity of the eternal onto this world. As Safranski writes, "All the ecstasy, all the bliss, all the ascensions of feeling, all the hunger for intensity previously projected into the beyond would now be concentrated in the immediate life of the here and now. Preserving the powers of transcendence designed the doctrine of the eternal recurrence to function for immanence or, as Zarathustra proclaimed, remaining 'faithful to the earth."
Still, what about the past? Even assuming that we could come to believe in the truth of the eternal recurrence, would we not face the dilemma that, as Martin Heidegger put it, each of us is "thrown" into a world we did not create? Whereas our present and future emerge, at least to some extent, out of our choices, our past is given to us. Nevertheless, Nietzsche appears to have believed that once we had affirmed our present and future, affirmation of our past would follow in its wake. After all, if the person I am today is worthy of affirming for all eternity, so, then, the person that must have been me was once to happen in that I must be equally worthy, since my past made my present possible. When I begin to think of the many ways that mine is this way, In not only accept the necessity of my fate and its role in making me who In am, but In also come to love that fate (Amor fati). In fact, my affirmation of my own past can expand to such an extent that I would begin to act as if I could will it. When that happens, my will comes to fill the entire meaningful universe-past, present, and future. In such a world, man has definitively replaced God. Or, as Nietzsche's Zarathustra puts it in a cryptic but crucially important passage: . . . as creator, guessers of riddles, and redeemer of accidents, In taught them to work on the future and to redeem with their creation all that has been. To redeem what is past in man and to recreate all "it was" until the will says, "Thus I willed it so.” “Thus I will it not" -, this particular I is called redemption, and this, and in this alone, I taught them to call redemption.
Nietzsche wanted nothing less than to make us totally at home in the world, and he understood that this monumental task could be accomplished only by convincing us, least of mention, in that we possess the power to redeem it, all by ourselves, without God.
Nietzsche devoted the final years of his sanity to thinking through the conundrums generated by his antitheological angriness. For some time he hoped to present a systematic summary of the views he first sketched in Thus Spake Zarathustra. However, the book he envisioned, tentatively titled The Will to Power: Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values, was not to be. Although he produced a flood of aphoristic and increasingly hyperbolic books between 1886 and 1888-Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, the autobiographical Ecce Homo, and hundreds of pages of notebook entries that have been subsequently (and somewhat deceptively) published as The Will to Power -his, Greatest achievements never became real.
Yet we have reason to think that Nietzsche came to believe, in his madness, that he had attained the divination for which he longed. In January 1889, just after his hysterical collapse in the streets of Turin at the sight of a carriage driver beating a horse, and a few weeks before being institutionalized in a psychiatric clinic, Nietzsche wrote a letter to the esteemed historian Jacob Burckhardt, in which he declared that "in the end In would much rather be a Basel professor than God: Yet I have not undertaken to embrace of my own private egotism, in that, if, and only if, its guiding crescendo, for which that it may be, in that, I would renounce the beingness of man from the creation of the world." Then there was the letter to a friend, Peter Gast, containing a single sentence: To my maëstro Pietro: Sing me a new song: the world is transfigured. All the heavens are full of joy. The Crucified. Nietzsche went on to live eleven years in a semicatatonic state, dying in 1900, on the threshold of a century that he had predicted would be the one worldwide war and unprecedented violence.
Ever since he slipped into a psychosis, it has been a Commonplace for romantic interpreters of Nietzsche's life and thought to conclude that he, like Novalis, Friedrich Hölderlin, and many other modern philosophers, poets, and artists, were driven mad by his own heroic efforts to grasp the truth in all of its horror. For these admirers, Nietzsche deserves to be considered a less martyr to thinking in its purist form. Besides the fact that such an interpretation simply dismisses the theory accepted by most scholars - namely, that an advanced case of syphilis-it caused Nietzsche’s breakdown also accepts without question that Nietzsche was right to think that the truth stands radically opposed to the beautiful and the good. Since nearly every word he ever wrote flows from this assumption, any attempt to evaluate Nietzsche's work on the whole must first and courageously confront it head on.
Unfortunately, Safranski contributes little to such a confrontation. At some points he offers the banal observation that the “will motivates Nietzsche’s books to an unceasing adventure in thinking." At others, he ventures a more creative, but no less unhelpful, suggestion that Nietzsche should have consistently advocated a "bicameral system of culture." Building on an image Nietzsche employed in Human, All Too Human Safranski suggests that conceiving of a culture in which is possible on Nietzschean grounds "one chamber [is] heated up by the passions of genius while the other [is] cooled off with principles of common sense and balanced out with collective pragmatism." Safranski believes that if Nietzsche had endorsed such a twofold conception of truth - one for radical artist-philosophers, another for moderate practical men - he could have pursued his adventure in thinking without "abandoning the idea of democracy and justice.
As appealing as Safranski's proposal might sound as enabling to achieve for we are to have, as it was, the best of both worlds-it has many problems. To begin with, as Safranski points out, Nietzsche would have judged the attempt to hold on to any form of democratic morality an example of the "feeble compromise [and] indecisiveness" that he associates with the nihilistic "last men." Then there is the more fundamental difficulty that in Nietzsche's thought everything flows from his conviction that the truth is meaningless chaos and flux. For Nietzsche, being two equally valid truths is simply impossible for there; There can only be the ugly truth it and the noble lies that mask it to one degree or another. Although in places Nietzsche does suggest an aristocratic arrangement in which an elite of philosophic geniuses pursues the truth while their slaves go about their lives immersed in illusions, one assumes that this is not what Safranski has in mind.
However, if Safranski's explicitly critical suggestions do not help us to assess Nietzsche's ideas, he does prepare more philosophically of the serious reckoning with them by showing so clearly that atheistic meaninglessness is the premise, rather than the conclusion, of his thought. How can we begin to evaluate this Nietzschean antifaith? We find a compelling suggestion in the thought of Nietzsche's early unbeatable opponent, Socrates. In two of Plato's dialogues, Socrates confronts characters who espouse proto-Nietzschean views. For both Thrasymachus in the Republic and Callicles in the Gorgias, morality has no foundation in the order of things, which is utterly indifferent to human concerns, and justice is nothing other than "the rule of the stronger." The parallels to Nietzsche's view, especially as he articulates it in the Genealogy, are uncanny.
It is instructive that in examining the opinions of these sophistical antimoralists, Socrates does not attempt to refute them using logic or empirical evidence of one kind or another. Rather, he takes what might be called a psychological approach. He attempts to show them that they are less consistently opposed to the good than they profess themselves to be. In Thrasymachus, for example, Socrates' dialectical questioning reveals a fundamental tension in his soul. On the one hand, Thrasymachus believes that "might makes right"-that the victor in a struggle for power demonstrates that he deserves his victory in the very act of winning it. However, on the other hand, he admires the intelligence and cunning that enable certain individuals to triumph over others-so much so, in fact, that he finds the thought of an unintelligent man winning power to be deeply distasteful. Such a brute would not, in other words, deserve his victory. Thrasymachus, it seems, looks up to something besides mere power. Although he claims to orient his life toward nothing but force and violence, such that belong as part of his believes in the greater good.
Might not Nietzsche be vulnerable to a similar - refutation? In his case, the tension arises from his reaction to the triumph of the weak over the strong in the slave revolt. From the theory sketched in the Genealogy, there is no basis for opposition to their victory. As it was for Thrasymachus, the very act of victory demonstrates that the triumphant party deserves to rule. One might even say that in the act of overpowering the strong, the weak effectively become the strong and thus by that very fact deserving of power.
Yet, Nietzsche reacts to the overthrow of the noble valuation with anything but equanimity. Not only are his works suffused with grand schemes to bring about a rebirth of a brutal aristocratic order in the modern period, but Safranski helpfully notes that, when it came to the public policy debates of his day, Nietzsche invariably sided against the vulnerable. He rejected "shortening the length of the workday from twelve hours a day to eleven in Basel." He was "a proponent of child labour, noting with approval that Basel permitted children over the age of twelve to work up to eleven hours a day." He opposed the education of workers and thought that the only consideration in their treatment should be whether (in Nietzsche's words) their "descendants also work well for our descendants." Nietzsche was a consistent partisan of the strong against the weak in every aspect of life.
The reason Nietzsche took such a brutal position becomes apparent in a passage of Twilight of the Idols (1888) in which he rails against the French Revolution and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's defence of the average person: What I hate [about the French Revolution] is its Rousseauean morality that in the so-called dominion of ‘truth’ there is within the Revolution under which it still works and attracts everything shallow and mediocre. The doctrine of equality. There is no more poisonous poison anywhere: For it may be preached by justice it, whereas it really is the end of justice. "Equal to the equal, unequal to the unequal"- that would be the true slogan of justice - and its corollary: "Never make equal what is unequal."
What is astonishing about this passage is not so much what it says about justice; Virtually every political philosopher in Western history would have agreed that justice demands "equal to the equal, unequal to the unequal." What is remarkable about the statement is that Nietzsche endorses its truth and resolves on its basis that human equality is fundamentally contrary to justice. One cannot help but conclude that Nietzsche - the man who gleefully proclaimed in a book titled Beyond Good and Evil that it was his goal to "sail right over morality"-was a perverse kind of moralist concerned above all about the injustice of shallowness and mediocrity. It is even possible to speculate that Nietzsche's visceral hostility to democracy, compassion, peace, equal human dignity, and perhaps even God Him, may have been motivated by a love for a particularly one-sided, profoundly distorted vision of justice. (Our best guide to the half-hidden moral dimension of Nietzsche's thought is Peter Berkowitz's masterful study, Nietzsche: The Ethics of an immortalist [1995)
At the very least, despite Nietzsche’s obviously Nietzsche's incessant denial of any possible foundation for the distinguished appreciation in the order of events, he could not help but presuppose that such a righteous existence that the rise of social and political equality has violated. The presence of a similar psychological dynamic in Thrasymachus and several of Socrates' other interlocutors eventually led Plato to conclude that the Idea of the Good exceeds all things-even being it"in dignity and power." Aristotle likewise chose to begin the Nicomachean Ethics with the declaration that "every art and inquiry, and similarly every human action and deliberate choice, . . . aims at some good." Of course neither philosopher meant that every human action nor idea truly is good; indeed, philosophizing consists in ascending from wrong opinions about the good to knowledge of what it truly is. However, they did mean to suggest that, even when we choose or contemplate evil, we do so at least in part because, somewhere in our souls, we mistake it for the good. For the ancient philosophers, love of the good is coeval with the human condition.
For such a statement, as for so many others, Nietzsche would have nothing but contempt. No doubt he would describe it yet another example of unwarranted Socratic "optimism." Perhaps it is. Nothing in the texts of the philosophers can prove that the good as they conceived it truly exists-that it is not merely a beautiful illusion we project onto the void. Yet there it is, there it has always been, and there it will remain-our lodestar and magnetic north, determining the shape of human reflection even among those who devote their lives to cutting themselves off from it.
Psychoanalysis, is the name applied to a specific method of investigating unconscious mental processes and to a form of psychotherapy. The term refers, as well, to the systematic structure of psychoanalytic theory, which is based on the relation of conscious and unconscious psychological processes.
In 1909 pioneers of the growing psychoanalytic movement assembled at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, to hear lectures by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. The group included, A.A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sandor Ferenczi, and bottom row, Freud, Clark University President C. Stanley Hall, and Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung. Freud’s visit, the only one he made to the United States, broadened the influence and popularity of psychoanalysis.
In the late 19th century Viennese neurologist Sigmund Freud developed a theory of personality and a system of psychotherapy known as psychoanalysis. According to this theory, people are strongly influenced by unconscious forces, including innate sexual and aggressive drives. Freud recounts the early resistance to his ideas and later acceptance of his work. Freud’s speech is slurred because he was suffering from cancer of the jaw. He died the following year.
The technique of psychoanalysis and much of the psychoanalytic theory based on its application was developed by Sigmund Freud. His work concerning the structure and the functioning of the human mind had far-reaching significance, both practically and scientifically, and it continues to influence contemporary thought.
Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, compared the human mind with an iceberg. The tip above the water represents consciousness, and the vast region below the surface symbolizes the unconscious mind. Of Freud’s three basic personality structures - id, ego, and superego - only the id is totally unconscious.
The first of Freud's innovations was his recognition of unconscious psychiatric processes that follow laws different from those that govern conscious experience. Under the influence of the unconscious, thoughts and feelings that belong together may be shifted or displaced out of context; two disparate ideas or images may be condensed into one; Thoughts may be dramatized in the form of images rather than expressed as abstract concepts. Certain objects may be represented symbolically by images of other objects, although the resemblance between the symbol and the original object may be vague or farfetched. The laws of logic, indispensable for conscious thinking, do not apply to these unconscious mental productions.
Recognition of these modes of operation in unconscious mental processes made possibly the understanding of such previously incomprehensible psychological phenomena as dreaming. Through analysis of unconscious processes, Freud saw dreams as serving to protect sleep against disturbing impulses arising from within and related to early life experiences. Thus, unacceptable impulses and thoughts, called the latent dream content, are transformed into a conscious, although no longer immediately comprehensible, experience called the manifest dream. Knowledge of these unconscious mechanisms permits the analyst to reverse the so-called dream work, that is, the process by which the latent dream is transformed into the manifest dream, and through dream interpretation, to recognize its underlying meaning.
A basic assumption of Freudian theory is that the unconscious conflicts involve instinctual impulses, or drives, that originate in childhood. As these unconscious conflicts are recognized by the patient through analysis, his or her adult mind can find solutions that were unattainable to the immature mind of the child. This depiction of the role of instinctual drives in human life is a unique feature of Freudian theory.
According to Freud's doctrine of infantile sexuality, adult sexuality is a product of a complex process of development, beginning in childhood, involving a variety of body functions or areas (oral, anal, and genital zones), and corresponding to various stages in the relation of the child to adults, especially to parents. Of crucial importance is the so-called Oedipal period, occurring at about four to six years of age, because at this stage of development the child for the first time becomes capable of an emotional attachment to the parent of the opposite sex that is similar to the adult's relationship to a mate; The child simultaneously reacts as a rival to the parent of the same sex. Physical immaturity dooms the child's desires to frustration and his or her first step toward adulthood to failure. Intellectual immaturity further complicates the situation because it makes children afraid of their own fantasies.
The conflicts occurring in the earlier developmental stages are no less significant as a formative influence, because these problems represent the earliest prototypes of such basic human situations as dependency on others and relationship to authority. Also, basic in moulding the personality of the individual is the behaviour of the parents toward the child during these stages of development. The fact that the child reacts, not only to objective reality, but also to fantasy distortions of reality, however, greatly complicates even the best-intentioned educational efforts.
The effort to clarify the bewildering number of interrelated observations uncovered by psychoanalytic exploration led to the development of a model of the structure of the psychic system. Three functional systems are distinguished that are conveniently designated as the id, ego, and superego.
The first system refers to the sexual and aggressive tendencies that arise from the body, as distinguished from the mind. Freud called these tendencies Triebe, which literally means “drives,” but which is often inaccurately translated as “instincts” to indicate their innate character. These inherent drives claim immediate satisfaction, which is experienced as pleasurable; the id thus is dominated by the pleasure principle. In his later writings, Freud tended more toward psychological rather than biological conceptualization of the drives.
How the conditions for satisfaction are to be brought about is the task of the second system, the ego, which is the domain of such functions as perception, thinking, and motor control that can accurately assess environmental conditions. In order to fulfill its function of adaptation, or reality testing, the ego must be capable of enforcing the postponement of satisfaction of the instinctual impulses originating in the id. To defend it against unacceptable impulses, the ego develops specific psychic means, known as defence mechanisms. These include repression, the exclusion of impulses from conscious awareness, its elevating projection, the process of ascribing to others one's own unacknowledged desires, whereby is the result to act. Reaction formation, the establishments of a pattern of behaviour directly opposed to a strong unconscious need. Such defence mechanisms are put into operation whenever anxiety signals a danger that the original unacceptable impulses may reemerge.
An id impulse becomes unacceptable, not only as a result of a temporary need for postponing its satisfaction until suitable reality conditions can be found, but more often because of a prohibition imposed on the individual by others, originally the parents. The totality of these demands and prohibitions constitutes the major content of the third system, the superego, the function of which is to control the ego in accordance with the internalized standards of parental figures. If the demands of the superego are not fulfilled, the person may feel shame or guilt. Because the superego, in Freudian theory, originates in the struggle to overcome the Oedipal conflict, it has a power akin to an instinctual drive, is in part unconscious, and can give rise to feelings of guilt not justified by any conscious transgression. The ego, having to mediate among the demands of the id, the superego, and the outside world, may not be strong enough to reconcile these conflicting forces. The more the ego is impeded in its development because of being enmeshed in its earlier conflicts, called fixations or complexes, or the more it reverts to earlier satisfactions and archaic modes of functioning, known as regression, the greater is the likelihood of succumbing to these pressures. Unable to function normally, it can maintain its limited control and integrity only at the price of symptom formation, in which the tensions are expressed in neurotic symptoms.
A cornerstone of modern psychoanalytic theory and practice is the concept of anxiety, which institutes appropriate mechanisms of defence against certain danger situations. These danger situations, as described by Freud, are the fear of abandonment by or the loss of the loved one (the object), the risk of losing the object's love, the danger of retaliation and punishment, and, finally, the hazard of reproach by the superego. Thus, symptom formation, character and impulse disorders, and perversions, as well as sublimations, represent compromise formations-different forms of an adaptive integration that the ego tries to achieve through more or less successfully reconciling the different conflicting forces in the mind.
So we are faced with a choice. We can follow Nietzsche in refusing to take our philosophical bearings from prephilosophical intimations of the good. Or we can place our trust in those intimations, allowing the good reflected in common opinion and experience to serve as an indication-however tentative, ambiguous, or elusive-of what is likely to be true. Attempt to break from the good or accept that, in the end, it is the only orientation we have: those are the options. After a very long century of delusional and bloody experiments against the good, we do not lack for reasons to turn our backs on Nietzsche's truth.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is a writer whom professional philosophers have often discounted because he is too literary, and whom professors of literature have passed over because he is too much of an abstract thinker. Nietzsche's work, in other words, defies the usual academic division of labour. Yet, Nietzsche has played a prominent role in Western thought. He was one of the most brilliant and profound forerunners of such movements as Psychoanalysis and Existentialism, and a radical critic of Western philosophy and culture. His observations and ideas inspired scores of twentieth centuries intellectuals - including those who misconstrued his work as a proto-fascist doctrine.
Nietzsche explicitly refused to develop a philosophical system, suggesting that individual, seemingly disconnected analyses, expressed in short, well-written aphorisms, are more honest and insightful than lengthy, scholarly treatises that tend to bend everything to fit a comprehensive theory. Thus, his writings may sometimes be - contradictory. The way to read Nietzsche is not to figure out how the many things he wrote can be fitted into one abstract formula, a procedure that would be more appropriate for such philosophers as Plato or Kant, but to consider every one of his pieces as a thought experiment that succeeds or fails on its own.
The Victorian conventionalism and complacency of Nietzsche's cultural environment made any success during his relatively short lifetime impossible. Nietzsche even had to pay for the publication of some of his books. He did not become truly famous until the time when the reigning pretenses of European culture were headed for their massive breakdown at the time of World War I. Not until the mechanized brutality of the "Great War" had shattered the vain image that Europeans had of themselves, as stalwarts of some advanced civilization of their own doing, that practised readers begin to gauge the seriousness of Nietzsche's critical analysis of the Western mind. Because of his precocious facility with edifying speech, he was nick-named "the little pastor.” As an adolescent he attended Pforta, one of Germany's elite schools, where he received a solid classical education. His subsequent university training was in classical languages and ancient culture, and he became a professor of Greek language at the exceptionally young age of twenty-four. For about ten years he taught Greek at the University of Basel in Switzerland, during which time he developed a profound admiration for and friendship with the composer Richard Wagner (a friendship that in later years turned into passionate enmity).
Around 1879 Nietzsche became chronically ill, and he retired from teaching on a moderate pension. During the following ten years he wrote in rapid succession all the books that were to make him posthumously famous -Human, All Too Human, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and, The Joyful or Gay Science, and The Case of Wagner, including, Beyond Good and Evil and The Antichrist, and Twilight of the Idols and more. During most of this time he was physically in miserable condition. He had no permanent residence, preferring to take up temporary lodgings in various places in the Swiss Alps or on the Mediterranean coast. He grew increasingly critical, and even contemptuous, of Germany - at a time when Germany tried to rival such world powers as England and France by way of aggressive military and industrial expansion.
Because of his near-blindness his doctors advised him to abstain from reading, but he kept reading and writing at a furious pace as best as he could. He fought his insomnia with opiates and Veronal, drugs that upset his delicate stomach. He frequently suffered from migraine headaches that prompted him to experiment with further drugs. He endured, partly by choice, a loneliness that included both social isolation and a general misunderstanding of his philosophical ideas even among friends. At the beginning of 1889 he suffered a major collapse that resulted in permanently insanity-possibly the consequence of untreated syphilis. His sister, as his guardian during the last years of his life, and as his - appointed literary executor, seems to have destroyed and falsified part of Nietzsche's unpublished writings, by that furthering the dubious interpretation of her brother's work that made the philosopher look like a forerunner of Nazism.
The predominant view in Western philosophy that human beings have a twofold nature - a nature composed of a mind and a body - and that there is a constant struggle between the two components, a struggle that ideally results in the dominance of the mind over the body. It is this dualistic view of human nature that Nietzsche combats throughout his philosophy; he calls this dualism "childish." The mature view, according to him, consists in recognizing that mind and body are one, and that what is called the mind or the soul is nothing but one aspect of the basically physical nature of human beings - one of the many organs that the body needs to survive. Which is thus under the overall control of the physical organism as a whole? In the chapter called "Of the Despisers of the Body" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche writes: “In am body and soul”-that is what a child would say. Why shouldn't one talk like a child? Still, the adult, the knowledgeable person, says: “In am body thoroughly, and nothing beside it. Soul is nothing but a word for something belonging to the body.”
The body is one great reason, a variety with one sense, a war and a peace, a herd and a herder. A tool of your body is also your little reason, my brother, which you call “spirit”- a little tool and toy of your great reason.
In your body he resides; He is your body. There is more reason in your body than in, and who knows to what end your body needs your best wisdom?
The body, in other words, is not the external tool of an inner sovereign mental ego, but an organism within which the ego, or mind, plays a merely subordinate role. To think that the mind is, or can even be, in control of the body is one of the most preposterous illusions that Western civilization has produced, according to Nietzsche, and one of the most damaging as well. It is one of the crucial assumptions that would have to be overcome in a future and more healthy civilization.
By saying that the true is the body, Nietzsche does, of course, not deny that people have feelings, inner experiences, and ideas, or that they can be very intelligent or thoughtful. He also does not deny that people can overcome such things as physical cowardice, laziness, or fatigue by an exertion of their wills, or that they can achieve impressive feats even if their physical condition happens to be an obstacle more than a help. Such - mastery is, indeed, one of the most fruitful manifestations of what Nietzsche elsewhere calls “the will to power.” Nevertheless, what superficially looks like a mind operating on its own, or like a victory of the mind over the body, is ultimately nothing but a demonstration of the power of the body as a whole-the temporary strength of one part of the organism over another part. (The body is, after all, a complex, multi-faceted organisms, a herd and a herder, a war and a peace.) For if one asks for the ultimate source of such things as will power, determination, or whatever else goes into the cause of extraordinary achievements, one will have to explore those aspects of a person that are sometimes called the unconscious-aspects that are intricately connected with the physiological and neurological functions of the organism. Will power, keen intelligence, or any other mental phenomenon is not the emanation of some nonphysical entity "inside" the body, but, the expressions of a dynamic and multifaceted physical being.
Nietzsche had been brought up within a Christian tradition according to which the body was something bases, filthy, or evil, and in many theological analyses the very centre of depravity and sin. Throughout his adult years Nietzsche was in revolt against this tradition, and the reconstitution of the body as something wonderful and as a source of great achievements can be described as one of the principals aims of Nietzsche's entire philosophy. Therefore Nietzsche eagerly embraced much of the scientific materialism that developed during the 19th century. During the previous two centuries scientific progress had primarily been made in the area of physics, the science of inanimate bodies. The 19th century, by contrast, was the period of rapid advances in chemistry and biology. Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871) was only one of the significant scientific developments that took place during Nietzsche's life time, although it turned out to be a particularly spectacular and controversial one.
Among the reading public philosophical materialism became something like a popular movement that at times found expressions that were rather pithy and polemical. Robert Buchner, for example, submitted that the brain produces thoughts in the way kidney’s produce urine, and he coined the famous ditty "Man is what he eats" (which in the original German is a pun: "Der Mensch ist was er isst"). Nietzsche's materialism was generally far more sophisticated than that, and he were also rather critical of Darwin. His thinking, however, fit into and was part of a broad trend that characterized much of 19th century culture. Impressed by what modern biologists and physiologists kept in the finding account that out and about are the intricate workings of the body, Nietzsche observed:
Whoever has even an idea of the body-of its many simultaneously working systems, of its many cooperative and conflicting activities, of the delicacy of its balances, etc.-will judges that all consciousness is, by comparison, something poor and narrow; he will judge that no mind will even remotely be adequate for that what the mind would have to do here, and perhaps that the wisest teacher of morality and legislator would have to feel clumsy and amateurish in the midst of this turmoil of war and duties and rights. How little becomes conscious to us? How often does this little lead to error and confusion? Consciousness is a tool, after all, and considering how much and what great things are accomplished without it one cannot call it the most necessary or the most admirable tools. On the contrary, there is, perhaps, no organ that is so poorly developed, or one that works with so many flaws. It is just the youngest organ, still in its infancy - let's pardon its childish pranks (To these pranks belong, among many other things, our morality, the sum of all past value judgments about the actions and attitudes of humanity.)
The discovery of the body that took place during the 19th century scandalized many conservatives, and it offended the moral sensibilities of what then was still the cultural mainstream. In 1857, for example, two of the most important literary works of that century were published in Paris: Charles Baudelaire's collection of poems called The Flowers of Evil, and Gustave Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary. Both books were immediately banned by the French courts because of their alleged "indecency," and outside France most publishers would not even think about publishing such material. Baudelaire's poems were considered offensive because they too were frequently dwelling on the pleasures of the flesh, and Flaubert outraged his critics by describing in some detail the pleasant feelings of a woman's orgasm. Much of the official public was simply not ready to acknowledge the reality and importance of the physical aspects of human existence openly; the definition of the human as mind or spirit still prevented people from acknowledging such things as the pervasive power of sexuality or the determining force of physical conditions in human history. Yet, for a significant minority the discovery of the richness of the physical universe, and of the human body in particular, was both revelation and liberation. Walt Whitman's "In Sing the Body Electric" (published by him in 1855 in the first edition of Leaves of Grass) testifies to this new enthusiasm about the physical nature of human beings. Like Nietzsche, Whitman postulates the basic identity of body and soul: “Sing the body electric, as this is the armies of those I love ungirth me, and I ungirth them.” If those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead? If the body does not aspire as fully as that of the soul? If the body were not the soul, what is the soul
To conceive of the body, and not the rational mind, as the true is part of a change in perspective that has far-reaching implications. One implication for Nietzsche was a deep appreciation of the many non-rational faculties that emanate from or are connected with the drives and passions of the body, and the darker and more unconscious regions of the soul. In his first major work, The Birth of Tragedy (1871), Nietzsche developed a theory of art that highlights the importance of visionary dreams and inspiring intoxication, while debunking the role of reason and rational calculation in the creative process. (A presentation of Nietzsche's theory of art, including his discussion of Apollinian dream visions and Dionysian intoxication. In his later works Nietzsche continues to emphasize the power and fruitfulness of all the faculties connected with the physical nature of human beings, and he continues to expose the allegedly delusional character of - conceptions that are based on the idea of a disembodied mind.
By insisting that the mental or spiritual can ultimately not be separated from physical matter, Nietzsche rejected the metaphysical thinking that had dominated most of the traditional philosophies, until then. The best-known division of reality into a physical and a nonphysical realm is, of course, Plato's separation of the imperfect and changing world of the senses from the timeless and perfect world of ideas (or “forms”). With this separation Plato provided the basic model of a twofold reality that subsequently spawned several variations of it in Western thought. The most popular of these variations is the metaphysical system of Christian Theology, which Nietzsche dubbed "Platonism for the people," with its sharp division of reality into the temporal world here and now and an eternal hereafter. Still, later variations of the same basic model were the philosophical systems of Descartes, Kant, and many of subordinate Idealist thinkers. What most of these dualistic conceptions of reality has in common is the additional notion that the physical world is inherently inferior to the spiritual world, and that therefore enlightened individuals will not attach their allegiance to this less valuable part of reality, to the deficient and corrupting world of the body and the senses. Ever since Socrates and Plato, according to Nietzsche, the West has been on the road of degeneracy because of this misguided devaluation of matter and its corresponding over-valuation of a seemingly supernatural spirit or mind. For Nietzsche this wrongheaded valuation of things amounts to nothing less than a wholesale betrayal of the earth - with all the consequences that such a betrayal of the natural cosmos implies.
One reason that people devalue the physical world, according to Nietzsche, is their fear of life-of life’s innumerable uncertainties, sufferings, and its inescapable finality. It is because of these deep-seated anxieties that people seek refuge in an ideal and imaginary world where they seem to find everlasting peace and relief from all the ailments that besiege them on earth. People do this naivety, by imagining "another world" in which people somehow continue to exist in the way they do in this world, only more perfectly, or they do it in more sophisticated ways, the way’s philosophers like Plato or other teacher of a spiritual life recommend. Nevertheless, in whatever way people try to escape the imperfections and ailments of the physical world, their retreat is always a manifestation of weakness, an inability to face reality in the way strong individuals would. Stronger persons would not only take suffering and other adversities in a stride, they would in a sense even welcome them as inevitable aspects of the very nature of life. As there is no life without death (eventual death being part of the very definition of what it is to be alive), there is also no experience of health without sickness, no enjoyment of wealth without poverty, and no appreciation of happiness without a real knowledge of pain. “Live dangerously” is one of Nietzsche’s well-known pieces of advice. It is his reminder that the most exuberant and ecstatic experiences of life do not grow out of a well-protected existence where risks and extremes are anxiously kept at bay, but out of a courageous exposure to the forces and conditions of life that begins the best of a person’s powers. A good horseback rider will not beat a spirited horse into submission to have an easy ride, but rather learn how to handle a difficult mount. Similarly, a strong and healthy person will not shun the dark and often dangerous sides of the world by retreating to some metaphysical realm of comfortable peace, but rather embrace life in its totality, its hardships and terrors and its splendours and joys.
It is, incidentally, for this that one has to read Nietzsche’s notorious reflections on “master” and “slave” moralities in his Beyond Good and Evil. As a species, according to Nietzsche, human beings will naturally tend to cultivate either of two moralities. “Master moralities” are developed and embraced by naturally strong and - confident people. They value most highly such things as strength, intelligence, courage, strife, and an inclination to rule over things and other people. Pride for such people is not a sin. They generally despise traits like meekness, timidity, simple-mindedness, and fear. In their eyes humble people are “bad.”
“Slave moralities” are developed by just such weak or timid people. They tend to flourish among downtrodden populations. “Slave, and moralities” value most highly such things as sympathy, pity, kindness, humility, patience,-effacement, and charity. The worst features in their estimate are aggressiveness and being dangerous to others. People who embody such aggressiveness are shunned or denounced as “evil’ (as opposed too “bad”).
Nietzsche’s prime example for a “master morality” is the ethos of Pre-Socratic Greece - embodied in the attitudes and deeds of those tribal heroes that Homer described in the Iliad and the Odyssey. Nietzsche’s prime example for a “slave morality” is the ethical teachings of Christianity. Although Nietzsche claims that, in analysing these two kinds of morality, he does nothing more than describe impartially certain psychological and anthropological facts, he clearly considers only variations of the “master morality” as suitable designs for a future with any hope. Only individuals who feel at ease among strong and daring people would be ready to face the darkness and dangers of the real world with confidence and an enterprising spirit. Only they could live without comforting metaphysical myths and imaginary hopes. They would intensively live their lives here and now, cheerfully or otherwise, and be content with being gone once their chosen tasks are accomplished.
Although Nietzsche thought of all metaphysical systems as so many forms of illusion, he was not blind to the great importance that these systems have had for the shaping of Western civilization. In a sense he saw them as necessary illusions, illusions that indirectly taught people - discipline and propelled them forward to heroic undertakings and significant accomplishments. Nietzsche was keenly aware of how much in Western civilization depended on the beliefs and attitudes that Christianity had imposed on people in the course of many centuries, and in his own way he took the modern decline of Christianity as a cultural organizing force much more seriously than most ordinary Christians.
Nietzsche discusses the cultural significance of Christianity in connection with his often quoted remark "God is dead.” By coining this phrase Nietzsche did, of course, not make any statement about the existence or nonexistence of God. What he offered, rather, is an observation concerning the idea of the deity, and the idea’s crucial role as a foundation of the general culture. In a nutshell Nietzsche’s reasoning was this: In a universe conceived in strictly scientific terms God has no intelligible place anymore, no meaningful role in the explanation of the workings of the world. In a culture that depends as much on sober scientific research and thinking as ours, talk about God has become peculiarly vacuous and oddly inappropriate.
Ancient Greeks thought of the awesome power of thunderstorms in terms of Zeus and his greatly feared thunderbolts. People familiarly with the theory and various manifestations of electricity, by contrast, will hardly have any other than a poetic use of the Olympian god and his bolts; as an explanation of natural phenomena Zeus has been rendered irrelevant by the discoveries of science. That, in the context of modern technological civilization, has happened to all deities in all traditional cultures. People who think in scientific terms do not refer to divine powers when exploring or discussing earthquakes, volcanoes, draughts, or the atomic bomb. Some scientists may continue to talk about God, but there is no real opportunity anymore to demonstrate any provable effects of a divine existence or power. Where people used to assume heaven, they now measure intergalactic space; where once they experienced the wrath of God, they now pinpoint viruses that spread in populations without immunity. Mention of God in laboratory reports or professional conferences would dumbfound the scientific community.
The very concept of God becomes difficult to grasp when people are used to the discipline of logic, and when the furnishing of evidence in support of important contentions has become standard practice in everyday life. What kind of being could God possibly be? How could one recognize God if one encountered him (or her) or heard "his" voice? Can we have any trust at all in our hopelessly anthropomorphic notions of God? How exactly is a noticeable Supremacy of Gods being is different from a God that does not exist? Is there anything left of our belief in God except dubious talk and vague desires?
Because of such difficulties and uncertainties, God has become less and less of a palpable factor in modern life; the scientific-technological world has grown used to functioning without any theological basis. Today science alone provides the decisive standards of what is true and what works. Whenever there is a conflict between science and religious doctrine, science will not accommodate religion anymore, but religion will adjust it to scientific conclusions. It is this cultural situation that prompted Nietzsche to talk about the “death” of God.
Nietzsche did not present the statement “God is dead” as his own, but rather as that of a “madman” whom he describes in a sort of parable in The Joyful Science. This madman, talking to an unsympathetic crowd in the marketplace, raises some noteworthy questions concerning God’s death: Where has God gone? I will tell you. We have killed him-you and me. We are all his murderers! Nevertheless, how did we manage to do so? How were we able to drink up the ocean? Who gave us the sponge with which we wiped away the horizon? What did we do when we loosened the earth from its sun? Where is it headed now? Where are we headed? Away from all suns? Aren't we in a free fall? Disappearing backward, sideways, forward-in all directions? Is there still an above and/or below? Are we not stumbling as through an infinite nothing? Isn't empty space breathing on us? Didn't it get colder? Isn't night coming on all the time, and more of the night? -God is dead! God remains dead! We have killed him! How shall we console ourselves-the most murderous of murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has ever had have bled to death under our knives. Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not have to become gods ourselves to seem worthy of it?
The madman in Nietzsche's story is not mad because he talks nonsense, for his speech, when looked at closely, makes a good deal of sense. The speaker only appears crazy because he is excited about something the crowd has not yet become aware of-because he is too far ahead of his time. The fact that "God is dead" in it is no news to the crowd; many of them have been faithless for some time. What is news to them, is that it is they who have killed God, that it was their own doing (by developing a modern civilization of scientific thought and sophisticated technology) that has led to the demise of the Supreme Being in their world? What the crowd also fails to realize is the enormity of the consequences that are bound to follow from their deed. For so far most people have continued living as if nothing had happened, as if the world in which God’s authority had once been supreme were still intact. Nevertheless, that the stability of a well-ordered and comfortable world, as the madman insists, does not exist anymore. Unnoticed by the crowd, the world as a whole has become a dark, cold, and frighteningly confusing place:
Mention of the “wiping out of the horizon” is a reminder that the comfortable narrowness of traditional views of the world has irremediably vanished: Everything has opened up to infinities that render the familiar world utterly strange. In a narrow world person can find their bearings; in an infinite universe people will feel at a loss. A comforting conception of the universe where everybody and everything have its proper function and place -a universe designed and ruled over by God-is not tenably any more in the light of advanced modern knowledge. Science has increasingly depicted the universe as a puzzling riddle, not as a place that we know, and where we can feel comfortably at home.
The madman’s talk of “the earth loosened from its sun” indicates humanity’s loss of a centre-of a God and divine order that could give orientation and meaning to human lives and endeavours. That the earth is in “free fall” implies that humanity has lost all control over its destiny, and that no new “suns” are in sight. There is no “above” and “below” anymore: Everything has become equally important or unimportant, equally valuable or valueless. Solid orientation has become impossible where there are no absolutes and firm guide posts. Anyone who cares to think honestly about the modern condition is bound to uncover a measure of nothing and prevail upon a pervasion of foolish senselessness, mixed by means of over-flowing emptiness.
“God remains dead,” the madman contends. The frightening vision of the modern world may prompt many to go back to the past, to escape the modern “wasteland” by seeking refuge in old cosmologies and faiths. Still, there is no plausible going back. Once the rational and critical thinking, which is the basis of science, technology, and our actual survival, has taken hold of a culture, people cannot simply become childlike believers again. Once scientific skepticism, reliance on solid evidence, and precise analytic thinking have become an integral and necessary part of a society’s life and survival, returning it to any naive faith without incurring the reproach of intellectual dishonesty or lack of integrity is impossible. Once God has been “murdered” there is nothing left but to acknowledge the great darkness and to move forward under radically new conditions.
One particularly prominent aspect of the general loss of orientation and meaning invoked by the madman is the felt absence of absolute standards and values. If there is no list of moral principles or rules like the Ten Commandments, and if there is no divine authority to back them up, all people are left with being a number of competing moralities-and no impartial criteria by which they could tell which of these competing systems might be valid or best. People would find themselves in a situation of complete moral relativism, a relativism that may easily and logically lead to a denial of morality together, to total moral nihilism. “If God did not exist, everything would be permitted,” we can read in Dostoyevsky’s the Brothers Karamazov, and that is how Nietzsche’s madman sees the matter as well. “Are there still an above and a below?” he asks, and the answer is, of course, that without a God and a divine order of the world there is not. To help others in need and to share one’s wealth may be a high priority for some, but for others such a principle may be of little importance-or even reprehensible. Without the absolute authority of God there is no telling who is right and who is wrong. Killing for political ends, abortion, eating meat, adultery, censorship, capital punishment, pre-emptive war—dozens of principles and practices are accepted or rejected upon the basis by the nonentity grounded in trustworthy regional traditions, entrenched authorities, unexamined habit, or just “how people feel” at anyone time. Without God there are only the multitude of cultural prejudices and personal bias—void of any authoritative validation.
Since science was instrumental in the “murdering” of God, some theoreticians were inclined to think that science can also help to create a new value system, a system that would have both the authority and assumed impartiality of the God of the past. Nothing came of this idea, however. On the contrary, the reigning consensus between scientists and most philosophers of science has been that a thoroughly scientific view of the world is inherently amoral. For the sciences make it their business to recognize only facts, and facts in themselves, according to that consensus, are neither good nor bad. All facts or state of affairs is equally valuable or valueless, and science, for this reason, has to remain value-neutral. From a strictly scientific point of view one could not say whether helping other people is better, to leave them separate, or even to exploit recklessly or “liquidate” them. The scientific investigation of any conceivable course of action would produce just so many more facts, but absolutely no value conclusion. Scientists can only say what is, not what ought to be; Science implies a “fact-value gap” as part of its methodology; Facts by themselves can offer no moral guidance. Science, in other words, did not only fail to establish a new value system, but vigorously reinforced the moral disorientation of modernity by emphasizing its principled incompetence with regard to matters of ethics.
The proclaimed value-neutrality of the sciences is an integral part of the grim scenario painted by the madman. Remembering the scruples that some of the Manhattan Project physicists had when they wondered whether they should unleash the ominous powers that went into the atomic bomb, one could say that the proclaimed value-neutrality of the sciences is just the sort of thing that makes the scenario of modernity described by the madman so grim. For once genies like nuclear fission or fusion are out of the bottle, without a solid moral framework in place within which such powers could be managed, it is no mad exaggeration to speak of the earth or humanity as in some sort of free fall.
The people in the marketplace do not see any of this. They all have their personal concerns and short-term goals, and they routinely go about their mundane businesses, including the business of making every day, moral decisions. It is only the "madman" who sees the ultimate implications of the death of God, and who is alarmed by the great moral and existential void in which they all live. "Europe has yet to face the reality of Nihilism," Nietzsche once remarked. The entirety of Western civilization still functions within a mind-set that thousands of years of theistic training and practice have created. At the time of his writing Nietzsche thought that it may yet take some two hundred years until the truth of their situation would dawn on the majority of people. Accordingly the madman concludes his lament with the words: In come too early. In am not yet at the right time. This enormous event [the death of God] is still on its way; it is travelling. It has not yet reached the ears of the crowd. Lightning and thunder needs time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time-even after they are done-to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet farther from them than the farthest stars-and yet they have done it!
It was not until the 20th century that philosophers began to reflect systematically on the situation outlined by Nietzsche’s madman. Jean-Paul Sartre and other Existentialists understood themselves to be thinkers who have finally fully realized the implications of the death of God (which is one reason that they considered Nietzsche as one of their most important forerunners). Sartre, in his essay “Existentialism is a Humanism” of 1946, quotes, with approval, Dostoyevsky’s contention that everything would be permitted if God did not exist. Sartre derides the traditional secular humanists for thinking that the absence of God is not much of a problem for ethics. “Nothing will be changed if God does not exist,” he describes these humanists as saying. “We will rediscover the same norms of honesty, progress and humanity, and we will have disposed of God as an out-of-date hypothesis that will die away quietly of it.” Existentialist humanists see things quite differently.
Existentialist, by contrast, finds it extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears with him all possibility of finding values in an intelligible heaven. There can no longer be any good deductivity, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. It is nowhere written that “the good” exists, that one must be honest or must not lie, since we are now on a plane where there are only men.
Existentialists, in other words, take very seriously what Nietzsche’s madman says, and their description of the human condition as one without any preordained moral system or orientation, without, indeed, any authoritative way of making sense of the world and human life, is exactly the scenario that Nietzsche invokes in The Joyful Science. Existentialists explicitly define human existence as an undetermined being in a meaningless universe, and as an anguished freedom that has to create all values and purposes out of it. As Existentialists had witnessed such events as two ferocious world wars, the holocaust, the atomic incineration of whole cities, and the continuing death by malnutrition of millions of children every year (together with the worldwide productions of an entertainment industry that can plausibly be described as organized idiocy on a massive scale), the absence of any authoritative ethics or established moral framework had become a particularly urgent problem for them. It was in the existentialists’ famous expressions of absurdity, loss, abandonment, and despair that Nietzsche’s dark vision of things found its final manifestation.
The madman is to exclaim of the cognitional framework as it was layed down by Nietzsche, having to say, that of who had been killed, but not expected he was to say of an indirect attestation, that, his audiences were thereby the one’s that did not hear of that very same madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, and ran to the marketplace and cried incessantly? "In seek God! In seek God"- As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, but he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? Asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? Asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? Emigrated? - Thus they yelled and laughed. The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Where is God?" he cried. "I will tell you. We have killed him-you and me! All of us are his murderers! Yet how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Where is it moving now? Where are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? -Gods, too, decompose! God is dead God remains dead! We have killed him! How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives, - who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed-and whoever is born after us, for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto"- Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners: they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern to the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. In have come too early, he said then; My time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, but wandering - it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder requires time; The light of the stars requires time; The deed though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most-distant stars-and yet they have done it themselves"-It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"
Friedrich Nietzsche's vehement attacks upon Christianity, encapsulated in his famous dictum that "God is dead," pose a problem for the reader who agrees with Nietzsche and yet does not wish to give up a certain basic Christian belief. However, careful analyses of both Nietzsche and the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) reveal an interesting pattern: the elements that Nietzsche opposes do not appear in the teachings of Jesus at this point, but rather in John and the writings of the Church fathers. In the synoptic Gospels, the earliest extant writings we posses, Jesus and Nietzsche often parallel each other, teaching similar doctrines.
Jesus did not teach the will to death and the ascetic ideal, but rather a strong individualism compatible with Nietzsche's philosophy. If this is the case, God need not die, even if the Church preaches dogma that appears to make that necessary for the free spirit to liberate it from the yoke of the herd and its guilt. An extensively modified, but still religious, Christianity can complement and reinforce the Nietzschian world-view. Using the Gospels to find the true message is difficult, for they are evolving documents that have been modified by the Church more than two millennia. However, enough support can be found, even with the warping of the originals, to support the view that Jesus originally taught something very differently from the Christian religion as we know it.
The worst thing about Christian belief, according to Nietzsche, is that it encourages, indeed requires, what he terms afterworldliness: "a poor ignorant weariness that does not want to want anymore." Here the believer despises this life and this world in favour of some promised world, accessible only after death, which is the truly good one. Nietzsche contends that we should live in this world, and that a yearning for another world is symptomatic of an unhealthy hatred of life: "It was the sick and decaying who invented the heavenly realm." Thus, the afterlife is an artificial creation used by the unhealthy to justify their hatred of life. The healthy soul lives and rejoices in this world, no longer willing to "bury one's head in the sand of heavenly things, but [willing instead] to bear it freely, an earthly head, which creates meaning for the earth.
While Jesus does promise an afterlife, he never suggests that his followers should despise this life or be in a hurry to get elsewhere. Indeed, the parable of the talents clearly shows that we are supposed to make the best of this life and the abilities we are given: The servants who increased the money their master had given them were rewarded, while the servant who simply hid his money and waited for the return was punished. The lovers of death here clearly contradict the teachings of their supposed master, who teaches that life is a gift of God and is not to be wasted. More support for the dictum that we should not hurry toward death is in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus says "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for it. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day." While this, comes at the end of a speech on not becoming attached to materiality. Thus, Nietzsche and Jesus are compatible in affirming this life and warning against concentrating on the next.
Nietzsche also criticizes the ascetic ideal for being opposed to life. Asceticism results from after worldliness; "Once the soul looked contemptuously upon the body, and then this contempt was the highest: She wanted the body meagre, ghastly, and starved. Thus, she hoped to escape it and the earth." Suicide is the goal, and asceticism the only form of suicide allowed by the Church. This is clearly antithetical to the love of life that Nietzsche claims as characteristic of the free spirit; Nietzsche sees this hatred of life, expressed through the ascetic ideal, as so entwined with Christian belief that only the death of God can eliminate its effects and allow man to love life. In other words, conventional Christian belief so thoroughly poisons the believer that only its extirpation can give him a chance to be free.
However, we have already seen that Jesus did not preach after worldliness; could asceticism be yet another apocryphal addition to his message? Jesus, we are told, went into the wilderness to fast for forty days, which is clearly an ascetic act. However, this does not mean that he subscribed to the ascetic ideal as it would later be defined. First of all, Nietzsche agrees that asceticism is favourable for the philosopher: "We have seen that implications of asceticism, which is to say a strict yet high-spirited continence, is among the necessary conditions of strenuous intellectual activity as well as one of its natural consequences." So Jesus was not seeking death but rather the optimum environment for thought and creativity before embarking upon his ministry, even as Nietzsche has Zarathustra do on more than one occasion. The need for a materially simple lifestyle to be creative also accounts for Jesus's repeated injunctions against worldly wealth; if one wishes to develop spiritually, one's energy must be directed in that direction, not the acquisition of material goods: "For going through the eye of a needle is easier for a camel than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." There is another reason that Jesus would spend time in the wilderness, related to the time in which he lived. Two thousand years ago (and still today in some cultures), time spent alone in contemplation was considered a prerequisite for holiness and wisdom, a sort of credentialing. People at that time would not have taken Jesus seriously if he had not been out fasting; it is noteworthy that no gospel ever mentions him fasting again.
Not only was Jesus not an ascetic him, he did not encourage his followers to abuse their bodies. The closest Jesus comes to approving of fasting (the primary ascetic act in his time) is when he tells his followers to show no outward signs if they fast, for that makes a vain display out of what is supposed to be a mystic act. He was criticized for not making his disciples fast, but he answered "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?" Even his death was not to be a permanent reason for - abuse, for after having said the above, he stated after Easter that "I am with you always, to the close of the age." Thus, the true Christian has no excuse for fasting or other asceticism on religious grounds. The lack of asceticism in Jesus's teaching makes perfect sense once one accepts that he did not teach after worldliness.
When confronted with the idea that Jesus did not preach after worldliness, the conventional believer is likely to ask, "But what of the Kingdom of God?" Indeed, the Gospels are full of references to the Kingdom of God, but these are not necessarily (or, if one were to wish independently) references to life after death. The Kingdom of God is something that a person can achieve in this life: "For beholding, the Kingdom of God is within you." This concept can be better understood as a different mode of existence, of a person who is no longer like he was before, which corresponds to Nietzsche's idea of the overman. Like the overman, the Kingdom of God cannot be reached through the application of reason, intelligence, or wisdom: "Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the coming of the overman cannot be known, even by Zarathustra him, until it happens. Jesus says the same about the Kingdom of God, in that "Watch therefore, for you do not know on which day your Lord is coming." Entering the Kingdom of God, like becoming the overman, is a leap, not a gradual process that can be rationally understood; Once, again, Nietzsche and Jesus converge and coincide. Both the Kingdom of God and the overman are described in terms that make it absolutely clear that these states represent a transcending of ordinary humanity, a step beyond what we are capable of imagining today: Nietzsche says of the overman that "He is this lightning, he is [the] frenzy" while Jesus says "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened." Although the imagery is different, both are describing a state of transformation, of great change, which is the object of life.
Jesus, like Nietzsche, had very little regard for priests and their rule. The gospels are full of the taunts and criticisms of the Pharisees, the priests of Judaism. Jesus and his disciples constantly violated the laws of the pharisees where it would be known. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and when the Pharisees asked him why, he answered "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" In other words, a law, or morality, is to be followed only as long as manning it is beneficial; this teaching is antithetical to the rules of any priestly caste. He rejected the priestly notion that external signs are indicative of inner health; After violating the Mosaic dietary laws, Jesus stated that "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Jesus is preaching an independence from the law that constitutes the first step toward the Kingdom of God. This attitude is crucial: The Mosaic law was the foundation of the morality of the society Jesus moved in, and therefore by rejecting it he was rejecting the morality of his society. One of the central tenets of Nietzsche's philosophy is that the overman requires independence from the old morality, as the very title of Beyond Good and Evil confirms. Jesus and Nietzsche continue to walk the same path.
The two teachers also coincide in asserting that their teachings cannot be adopted by more than a few of those who hear them. Zarathustra finds that he must "speak not to the people but to companions," companions who like him have left the herd and are thus ready to hear what he has to say. One of the leitmotifs of Nietzsche's work is the crushing influence of the herd and therefore the necessity to reject it, as painfully as this may be, in order to develop. Similarly, although Jesus spoke to the masses, he was under no illusions as to their ability to hear him: in the parable of the wheat and the tares, only a very few of the seeds sowed bear any fruit. He only bothered explaining his parables to the apostles, his companions. Jesus also preaches the need to free one from the bonds of society, and warns of it hatred for those who do so, "Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake.” Nietzsche also warns of the wrath of the herd: Since I do not join their dances Tied to their old rope, In am followed by their glances, Sweetly poisoned envy without hope.
Both Nietzsche and Jesus realize that the man must separate him from the herd in order to live, but that the inevitable corollary of this act is that he will be despised, feared, and envied by those still within the herd.
One of Nietzsche's central tenets is that man is "that which must always overcome it." One must always survive the overcoming one, with no thought of a time when overcoming will no longer be necessary; as long as something is, there is always something to be overcome. Interestingly, there is a similar message in the teachings of Jesus, who exhorted his listeners to "Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." Attempting to achieve perfection would be an identical process too - overcoming, when one considers Jesus's contempt for the mosaic law, his society's expression of morality. The believer who took Jesus's words to heart would have continually to reexamine him, change him, improve him without a firm guide. In other words, he would have continually to overcome him in the pursuit of perfection. Jesus and Nietzsche teach the same thing, although in different languages.
On the theme of -judgement, an even greater difference in method obscures a similarity in aim. Nietzsche proclaims the doctrine of the eternal recurrence, where we must believe that we will live our lives again and again, with no changes. Thinking about this force’s one to come to grips with what one really thinks about one's life; if one has accepted one's life, then the idea of repeating it is appealing, but if not, then it is terrifying. Jesus achieves the same goal by postulating judgement by an omnipotent being who can see through all one's lies, even the ones one tells one. Again, faced with a postulated eventuality, but one must take honest stock of how he has lived. In this case the difference in method stems from Nietzsche's rejection of and Jesus's acceptance of the idea of an afterlife; Their intentions are identical, to require their listeners to judge themselves far more harshly than they would ordinarily.
One crucial issue remains to be dealt with, that is humility. Humbleness appears again and again in the message of Jesus. "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all," Jesus tells his disciples. Here Jesus and Nietzsche appear to be invariably at odds, since the last thing Nietzsche taught was humility. Yet the apparent divide is not as great as it would seem. One must always survive to overcome one, and to defy the herd requires a lot of pride; ought not that this childish, immature pride be the first thing to be overcome? Only with a harsh appraisal can one become in knowing one, and pride would prevent this. Thus pride must be overcome in order to know one and thus be wisely proud. The humility Jesus teaches need not be the grovelling - abasement the Churches have said it is. Could this humility not be the inevitable humility of one who has looked at him clearly, realistically, warts and all? This humility would lead not to weakness but to greater strength and better overcoming. Jesus did not intend for us to be weak, but to be strong and sure of ourselves; That is why he said to "turn to him [the other cheek] also," for he who is truly strong is in control of him and will respond, not on impulse, but at the proper time, under perfect control. This interpretation is compatible with Nietzsche's philosophy, but rather complements and expands it.
In sum, Jesus and Nietzsche do not have to be at war with one another, but can supplement and fulfill each other, if one only has the insight and originality to strip away the accretions that the lovers of death have placed upon the teachings of Jesus. Both preached the overcoming individual, independent of the herd, who strives to evolve in the hope of reaching a transcendent state within this world, even if that state cannot be reached by any means other than a leap. Both have been grossly misinterpreted, for their message is not one the herd is willing to tolerate, and both are in need of clear understanding.
What is that you ask? You say that In have left out the most important act of Jesus on this earth, the one that has given a religion its primary symbol? What of the Resurrection? Well, if one accepts that life does not end in death, then returning to this world after the event that separates us from whatever comes after for the love of one's companions, would be the ultimate act of will, of power, of striving, indeed it would be the act . . . of an overman.
In some respects the story of Friedrich Nietzsche's Zarathustra is an epos in the way the stories of Odysseus or Jesus or Don Quijote is. It describes a man with a distinct character, who faces an important task, who in the pursuit of this task has significant encounters with friends and adversaries, who experiences deep crises and changes of heart, and who in the end comes to a resolution that represents a meaningful possibility of human existence.
In contrast to most other epic poems, however, Thus Spoke Zarathustra is less a series of external adventures than a spiritual journey. The ratio of external events and inner developments is heavily weighted in favour of the latter. More than half of the entire text consists of Zarathustra's philosophical lectures and thoughts, although these thoughts are conveyed by archetypal myths and poetic language rather than analyses. The plot of Zarathustra's story is important, however. Zarathustra's philosophical pronouncements cannot be fully appreciated without being seen in the context of specific external events. To understand Thus Spoke Zarathustra one has to follow both the story's line of action and its line of thought.
In the Prologue the reader is told that at the age thirty, Zarathustra "left his home and the lake of his home and went into the mountains. Here he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not tire of it." After this time, however, Zarathustra decides to leave his mountain retreat to share his slowly accumulated wisdom with the rest of humanity. His goal is to proclaim the "overman," a type of human being that is to be as superior to today's human beings as today's humanity is to the higher apes. The state of modern humanity seems to Zarathustra to be such that a new guiding ideal is urgently called for - an invigorating inspiration that would give new energy and meaning to people who, tired and disillusioned, are mired in a cultural wasteland.
Much of the reigning spiritual malaise is due to what Zarathustra refers to as the "Death of God." Not that Zarathustra thought that God had ever existed, but he knew that once the idea of God was a most important inspiration without which most of Western (as well as much of Non-Western) culture would not have been created. As the Modern Age with its secularizing tendencies developed, however, the idea of an all-powerful God progressively lost its plausibility and organizing force, and by the time scientific rationality had become the dominant mode of thought, thinking that an anthropomorphic deity could be seemed hopelessly naïve and anachronistic something like a law giving lord of some orderly and meaningful world. The universe as described by modern science became too vast to be comprehended in its entirety at all, and for educated people it became increasingly difficult to find any valid basis for a genuine moral order, or for more than an arbitrary meaning of life. Nihilism had become a haunting problem for modern humanity, and it is this problem that Zarathustra's philosophy is meant to solve. The "overman" is Zarathustra's answer to the modern wasteland.
Once admixed with people Zarathustra does not lose any time to advocate his vision: Humanity as a whole is to overcome its present mediocrity and bankrupt civilization in order to create the overman: "Man is something that is to be overcome. What have you done of overcoming him?" The reception that Zarathustra's philosophy receives, however, is none too encouraging. First the crowd mistakes the new prophet as part of a circus act. Once the people understand what Zarathustra is up to, they let him know in no uncertain terms that they have absolutely no use for something like the overman, that what they are really interested in is a nice and comfortable life. "You can have the overman," they laugh. If life has no higher meaning, which is not something over which they will lose any sleep. Happiness in the form of pleasure is their highest gal."The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people," as the Utilitarians put it. (There is no philosophy to which Zarathustra's thought is more directly opposed than Utilitarianism. Nietzsche rarely talks about the "flathead" J. S. Mill, the principal theoretician of Utilitarianism, with anything but derision.)
From now on Zarathustra has nothing but contempt for the masses, although he is repeatedly tempted to pity and help them. His contempt extends not only to those social classes that have traditionally been excluded from the privilege of higher education, but also to all people who limit their lives and aspirations to the pursuit of trivia and convenience. That includes the majority of artists and writers, of students and professors, of journalists and politicians-the majority, that is, of what is sometimes called the "cultural elite." They all fall far short of seriously developing their personal or their human potential. Instead Zarathustra starts looking for a few outstanding individuals, persons who are genuinely hungry for something more in life than the fulfilment of mediocre and philistine desires. Zarathustra searches for the seekers, and he has no trouble finding and attracting such individuals. At this point his career as a teacher begins in earnest.
Part one of Thus Spoke Zarathustra consists almost entirely of the twenty-two speeches that Zarathustra delivers to his disciples and followers. The speeches elaborate the philosophy of the overman. Their main line of thought can be summarized in the following six points:
(1) Zarathustra's most basic contention is the sweeping rejection of all metaphysics-of the idea that there is a "real" world "behind" the physical world, a transcendent world beyond the world of the senses. For Zarathustra there is only one world, and that world is essentially physical. Zarathustra is a materialist monist, in other words, he rejects dualism in it’s philosophical as well as in its religious forms. Plato, Descartes, or Kant is as unacceptable to him as Christianity or any other metaphysical religion. "Be faithful to the earth!" he admonishes his followers time and again.
In several speeches Zarathustra spells out implications of this basic contention. Priests of metaphysical religions, for example, he calls "Preachers of Death," because in their teachings they imply that there is something better than the earth and its life forms. They kill true reverence for life. They do so because they are afraid of life, or because they have failed to come to terms with it.
(2) Corresponding to Zarathustra's materialist monism is his rejection of the traditional dualism of body and mind: People do not have bodies, but they are bodies. Human beings are not composites of a physical and a nonphysical substance, but whole organisms, although these organisms are often very intelligent, and capable of deep feelings. Human behaviour is much more intelligible if it is understood as the behaviour of bodies, and not as behaviour that originates in pure minds. People are generally much more physical than most individuals - under the influence of metaphysical teachings-are inclined to admit to them or to others.
In speeches on a variety of topics Zarathustra encourages his followers to acknowledge their physical nature, and to live out of its power and resources. Books that are "written with blood," for example, are better than the seemingly detached and purely cerebral works of most academics, and works of art that draws on the pre-rational powers of the unconscious mind are deeper and far more powerful than those that are created by the rational mind. The instinctual passions that grow out of our physical constitution are truer to life than most of the constructions of the intellect. (It is worth remembering here what Nietzsche writes about the origin of art in his The Birth of Tragedy: Greek tragedy was powerful as long as it grew out of Dionysian intoxication and Apollinian dream visions. It deteriorated - at the time of Socrates's teachings when playwrights became calculating craftspeople, instead of inspired visionaries.)
(3) Zarathustra advocates an - asserting individualism that by most standards would be considered reckless and immoral. Zarathustra has no interest in virtues that promote social peace, or a culture in which people place a high value on not upsetting or offending each other. Peace of mind is suspicious because it may come about at the price of muffling the real forces of life. Individuals whose thoughts and deeds are to reach great heights have to go into real depths: "With a person it is as with a tree. The more he aspires to the height and light, the more strongly willing his roots strive earthward, downward, into the dark, into the deep-into evil." Outstanding spirits need to disregard the moral rules and sensibilities of the "herd." "Beware of the good and the just! They like to crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselves-they hates the lonely one." The more uncompromising people dare to follow their own individual inspiration, the more significant will be the results. A true view and appreciation of life are not "clouded" by moral categories at all: Life in its purest and highest manifestations exists "beyond good and evil."
(4) The price for this sort of individualism is a pervasive antagonism of forces and people, perhaps evens "a war of all against all"(to use Hobbes's phrase). Nevertheless, that is nothing bad in Zarathustra's eyes. Every living being motivated by a "will to power," by a will to assert it, and struggle is an inevitable expression of being alive. "War is the father of all things," Heraclitus once wrote, and in agreement with this Zarathustra thought that nothing worthwhile would ever come about without strife. "Live dangerously!" is the advice that he gives to his friends? Even in love relationships risks must be taken. Getting hurt in a love relationship is nothing to be afraid of or bitter about, but rather an opportunity to grow and to respond creatively. "War" is not only an acceptable means, but also an important end in it: "You say it is the good cause that hallows even war? In say: It is the good war that hallows every cause." To live a warrior's life is a supreme way of being.
This must not be misunderstood, however, as an advocacy of the sort of militarism and nationalistic expansionism that began to run rampant toward the end of the 19th century. The "warriors” that Zarathustra praises are not a man in uniform, and not part of the mechanized fighting machinery that has become the hallmark of modern warfare. In his speech "On the New Idol" Zarathustra explicitly repudiates such things as patriotism or identification with a particular nation state as a vulgar form of - alienation: "Only where the state ends, there begins the human being who is not superfluous.
(5) - determination is crucial at all levels of Zarathustra's philosophy. -determination has been an important ideal in other philosophies as well, to be sure, particularly in the philosophy of the Enlightenment, a movement that is in several ways incompatible with the thought of Zarathustra. What the Enlightenment and Zarathustra has in common is the idea that a moral order cannot be imposed on human beings from the outside-by authorities, social institutions, or traditions, for example. However, in Zarathustra's philosophy -determination becomes a much more radical concept than it is in the writings of Kant or other Enlightenment thinkers. For in Kant's ethics the goal is still to find moral rules and guidelines that are ‘objectively’ valid, rules that are binding for all rational beings because they are grounded in the very nature of rationality. For Zarathustra there is neither a divine authority that could impose binding values, nor a recognizable cosmic order on which objective values could be based, nor a rationality that is common to all human beings. Thus human beings are not only independently responsible for living up to moral standards, but also for creating such standards in the first place. For Zarathustra nothing is ‘given’, neither a moral order, nor a preestablished meaning of life or of the universe. Any such thing has to be brought about by the creative will of individuals who are capable of such feats, such as Moses or similar lawgivers - determination, in other words, is not just a matter of exercising autonomy in a structured and established world, but almost something like creating a world out of chaos.
A sign of such far-reaching -determination is free death. A truly autonomous being will not wait until death "sneaks in like a thief," but freely decides when it is time to go-which should not be either too early or too late. The time of one's death ought to be connected to one's meaningful tasks, to the things that one has chosen to accomplish. When these goals have been reached, and when nothing significant can be done anymore, then a sovereign person will say farewell to his people and life, and not wait until his or her life will degenerate into nothingness. The important point is to be active where formerly people have been passive. Fewer things are given than had always been presumed. A future humanity would be in command of it to a degree that had never been imagined in the past.
(6) Life is a process, not a state. A person is a process, too, not a static entity. To conceive of one as an entity, as a substance, is a mistake. To live life as if one were a being, rather than a becoming, is a falsification of one's existence that is connected with the illusion of an everlasting life in a "transcendent" world. Living life is not accomplished by holding on, by accumulating things or knowledge, but by always overcoming one, and by transforming or passing on everything that one acquires.
At the end of Part one Zarathustra depart his followers to return to his mountain cave. His main reason for doing so is the necessity of his disciples to find themselves-to cease being followers. Part of the idea of the overman is, after all, the idea of radically living out of one's own, and not out of any doctrine or consensus of a community. To be true to his teaching Zarathustra has to stop being a teacher. All he can do as the prophet of the overman is to sow the seed of his idea, and then see what will develop.
Part two, years later Zarathustra has a dream: A child holds a mirror up to him. In this mirror Zarathustra does not see him, but a derisively laughing devil. Zarathustra is deeply disturbed by that vision. He interprets it as meaning that his teaching is being distorted. He eagerly decides to return to his followers and to speak within their spoken exchange that once again -and to his enemies as well. He feels he is full of wisdom that he wants to impart. "Too long In have belonged to solitude; Thus, In have forgotten to be silent." The reader gets the impression that Zarathustra is just a bit too eager to resume his teaching career. Zarathustra may, in fact, have given a wrong interpretation to his dream, and his eagerness to give more lectures to his followers may cover up something that tried to make it manifest by the vision of the mirror.
Zarathustra descends to the Blessed Isles, the place where his followers live, and where he is welcome to develop the ramifications of his philosophy further. A major new strand of his thoughts is the concept of the "Will to Power," the concept that dominates all of Part two. Zarathustra sees the Will to Power as the most basic motive force in all living beings, justly of transcending importance, as steadily as there be of its drive for the will to live. It manifests it in innumerable ways-in the way certain people assert themselves in society, as well as in the power of an ascetic priest over his own appetites or an artist’s mastery over the elements of his or her work. As good as science is seen not so much as a disinterested reflection of what is the case, but as a forceful construction of data along the lines of certain preconceived concepts (such as the unified structure of Newtonian physics).
Halfway through Part two, however, in the "Nightsong," Zarathustra changes his tune, so to speak. Instead of lecturing he begins to sing. What he sings at first, he laments about being too much a carrier of light, too much a giver of wisdom. Something important is missing in his life. Zarathustra is craving for darkness-presumably for the instinctual or unconscious side of human existence. He conducts him too much like Apollo, and too little like Dionysus. Instead of being the teacher of a new civilization he needs to experience the extacies and agonies that come with the intoxicated submersion into the primal spheres of life.
In the following "Dancing Song" Zarathustra deepens his doubts. While admiring and encouraging the dance of a group of young women, he asks him whether he really understands life. Implicitly he calls into question the validity of his strident teaching. In the "Tomb Song" he tentatively acknowledges that the truth of life will not reveal it to him through philosophizing and teaching, but in such instinctual expressions as singing and dancing.
After this crisis experience Zarathustra resumes his usual lecturing for a while, but in the section on "The Soothsayer" he encounters his doubts once more. The Soothsayer is a persuasive spokesperson for the nihilism that besieges modern humanity. His message is that ultimately everything is futile and vain. He represents a pervasive weariness and a state of disillusionment that Zarathustra cannot escape: What sense is there, indeed, for working so hard to bring about the overman? Is his advocation really different from all the other cultural efforts that now constitute a dead past?
In a lugubrious dream Zarathustra sees him as the warden of the remnants of past cultures in "the mountain-castle of death." In this dream a sudden storm tears open the gate of the castle, the overturning a black coffin from which escape grimacing "children, angels, owls, fools, and huge butterflies." Terrorized, Zarathustra awakens. He wonders what the dream may mean. A disciple suggests that the storm symbolize the work of Zarathustra-the destruction of a dead culture, and the release of new energies. Zarathustra is doubtful, however. He is not sure whether he may not rather be part of "the castle of death." Even as the teacher of the overman he may be more part of the old civilization than part of the liberating forces of the future.
Continuing his journey with his followers, and Zarathustra has occasion to converse with a rather observant hunchback. This hunchback tells Zarathustra to his face that "Zarathustra talks differently to his disciples than he talks to him." This finally brings home to him that something is seriously wrong. There is something that he does not tell his followers, something that he does not even admit to him, even though he seems to have an inkling of it. The days of Zarathustra as a teacher are clearly numbered.
In "The Stillest Hour," the last section of Part Two, Zarathustra is arguing with a "voiceless voice," a voice that brings him to the realization that "Zarathustra's fruits are ripe, but that Zarathustra is not ripe for his fruits." There is a discrepancy between his teachings and his being, and its change clearly releases him, in that he has to change. In a deeply depressed state he decides to leave his followers once more.
Part three, from now on Zarathustra is by him. He is a "wanderer" who tries to get ready to meet the most difficult task that he has to face in his life. "Before my highest mountain In stand and before my longest wandering. To that end In must first go down deep than ever have it descended-deeper into pain than In ever descended, down into its blackest flood." Although Zarathustra never describes it that way, he is, in fact, readying him to die to his old as the teacher of the overman and to become that new kind of being. "If you now lack all ladders, then you must know how to climb on your own head; How else could you want to climb upward? On your own head and away over your own heart - up until even your stars are under you.”
Zarathustra does not return to the solitude of his mountain cave right away, but rather embarks on a long journey across the sea and through the big cities. While crossing a mountain range to reach the next seaport, he begins to deal with the "Spirit of Gravity" that keeps weighing him down"my devil and archenemy, half dwarf, half of a mole, lame, making lame, dripping lead into my ear, leaden thoughts into my brain. " What the spirit exemplifies at this point is the thought of the futility of Zarathustra's project, the futility that the Soothsayer had already hinted at earlier: "You philosophers’ stone," the Spirit of Gravity whispers mockingly, "you threw your very high, but every stone that is thrown must fall.
Zarathustra gets the dwarf off his back by confronting him and him with the thought that he had been so reluctant to think, but which seemed to have been on his mind for some time - the thought of the eternal recurrence of everything. That thought and its unsettling implications are the predominant concern of Part Three of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. According to this philosophical concept everything in the universe is bound to repeat it endlessly because time is endless, while the amount of matter that exists in time is finite. The number of possible configurations of the constantly changing elements of matter may be enormous, but eventually they will have to repeat themselves. Everything that exists must have existed before; the future is like the past: On a cosmic scale there can be no progress. Time is not linear, but forever moves in circles. "All that are straight lies," the dwarf agrees. "All truth is crooked. Time it is a circle."
The thought is profoundly disturbing to Zarathustra, for it means that even a successfully created culture of overmen is not something like a new plateau from whichever new heights of human accomplishments can be reached, but only a phase in a sequential cycle, that in time will bring back even the lowest stages of human development. The thought that everything recurs seems to take away any incentive for effort. Why work toward the overman if after that nothing but the old degeneracy looms?
Zarathustra's profound disgust with the prospect of the eternal recurrence of low forms of humanity finds expression in his vision of a young shepherd who is gagging on a black serpent that has crawled into his throat. Attempts to dislodge the serpent are futile. "Bite off its head" Zarathustra finally yells, and the Shepherd does as he is told. Spitting out the head the Shepherd is a new man, a man whose belly’s laughs a tremendous laugh of liberation. From the moment of this vision on Zarathustra has one over-arching desire: To achieve this laughter of liberation, and thus steadily disentangles for good of the Spirit of Gravity.
Zarathustra continues his travel-a journey through the wasteland of modern civilization. In the end he finds the shallow and escapist culture of his contemporaries not even worthy of critique or rebuttal: Neither scholars nor the literati (let alone the journalists) come even close to dealing with the really important questions of life. Passing everything over in silence seems to him to be the most adequate response. He returns to the mountains to resume work on him. While becoming a hermit again, Zarathustra is careful not to turn his back on life. Instead of subscribing to the traditional virtues of ascetic monks-poverty, chastity, and obedience-he continues to advocate the vigorous living of life with everything that may imply. Zarathustra is still in agreement with what he had said in Part Two: "In do not permit the sight of evil to be spoiled for me by your timidity. In am delighted to see the wonders hatched by the hot sun-tigers, and palms and rattlesnakes. Among men, too, a hot sun hatches a beautiful breed, and there are many wonderful things in those who are evil. Zarathustra still aims at the goal of the overman.
Part three, ends with Zarathustra's recovery from his crisis. The way he overcomes the debilitating implication of eternal recurrence is by emphatically living in the present. If time is a circle, it does not really matter in which part of the circle one exists, or in which phase of its development humanity finds it. "Being begins at every moment” . . . The centre is everywhere," Zarathustra's archetypal animals, the snake and the eagle, sing, and Zarathustra agree. Most people live in the past, i.e., under the constraints of traditions, inherited moralities, etc. Zarathustra used to live in the future, i.e., in expectation of a culture that has never existed before, and which would be part of a never-ending progress. Nevertheless, by now the teacher of the overman knows that ultimately past and future are irrelevant, that living one's life is something that has to happen now, and not at any other time. It is now that the struggle takes place, and now that life manifests it in the intensity of one's efforts. The concept of eternal recurrence is not a paralysing thought anymore, but the joyful vision of a new secular eternity.
An important sign of Zarathustra's recovery is the fact that he has learned to sing and to dance. Singing and dancing, compared with speaking, are ecstatic modes of expression. Speaking tends to be a disembodied mode of communication, while singing and dancing involves not only the intellect, but the body and its passions as well. A person who is capable of singing and dancing is whole, and life is more present in such a person than in a lecturing teacher. It is in the light of this newly found wholeness that one can see why Zarathustra felt at one point that in spite of his upbeat teachings he was part of "the castle of death."
The first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra is dominated by Zarathustra's vision of the overman, the vision of a bright and heroic future. It can be called Apollinian, as it aims at the building of a civilization out of the chaos of cultural entropy. No civilization is eternal, however. The dark and chaotic underside of every order cannot be ignored, and it will eventually assert it. The day of Apollo does not exist without the night of Dionysus. The night, in fact, is darker and more powerful than day-consciousness cares to think. Because the dark forces of life are so frightening, people have a tendency to shun life, to look at it, as something painful or even evil-something to overcome. It is part of Zarathustra's teaching to affirm life in spite of its frequent darkness and potential terrors. The transformation of the protagonist that dominates the last part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra demonstrates a love of life that encompasses not only its dark sides, but even its ultimate purposelessness. It is a love that is achieved by living life-after a long period of merely thinking and teaching about it. It is a seeing love, a love that feels and knows at the same time
Scholars are debating whether part four should be seen as an integral component of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, or rather as the beginning of a longer continuation that Nietzsche never got around to writing. The first three parts evidently constitute a beginning, middle, and an end, to which the fourth part is in some ways something like an appendix. The first three parts could easily stand by themselves. The fourth part is interesting, however, in that it shows Zarathustra as an old man who is still intent on teaching the overman. Throughout part four he never leaves the mountains: He has adopted the strategy of letting interested people find him, and they come. The cultural situation in the lowlands has become so bad that seekers are desperate to find a way out. Zarathustra converses with a number of "higher men" who have begun to look at him as a spiritual authority. Zarathustra gives advice to these figures, and in the process further analyses the general situation of modern humanity, but in the end he concludes that even these leading intellectuals are hopeless: "These are not my proper companions. It is not for them that In wait here in my mountains."
Nietzsche sets out to denounce and illegitimize not only Christianity it as a belief and a practice, but also the ethical-moral value system which modern western civilization has inherited from it. This book can be considered a further development of some of his ideas concerning Christianity that can be found in Beyond Good and Evil and in The Genealogy of Morals, particularly the idea that the present morality is an inversion of true, noble morality. An understanding of the main ideas in the latter works is therefore quite helpful in understanding and fully appreciating the ideas set forth in The Antichrist. One of the most important of these ideas is that Christianity has made people nihilistic and weak by regarding pity and related sentiments as the highest virtues. Here, just as in the Genealogy, Nietzsche traces the origin of these values to the ancient Jews who lived under Roman occupation, but here he puts them in terms of a reversal of their conception of God. He argues that the Jewish God was once one that embodied the noble virtues of a proud, powerful people, but when they became subjugated by the Romans, their God began to embody the "virtues" (more like sentiments) of an oppressed, resentful people, until it became something entirely alien to what it formerly had been.
Further in the book, after Nietzsche devotes a few passages to contrasting Buddhism with Christianity, he paints a picture of the Jesus of history as actually having lived a type of "Buddhistic" existence, and lambastes Paul particularly for turning this historically correct Jesus, as for, Jesus the "Nazarene," into Jesus the "Christ." Also, Nietzsche argues that the Christian moral and metaphysical principles he considers so decadent has infiltrated our philosophy, so much that philosophers unwittingly work to defend these principles even when God is removed from the hypothesis. The purpose of this paper is to expound and assess some of these important reproaches that Nietzsche raises against Christianity, in order to glean from them those elements that can be considered to have lasting significance. It should also be noted that The Antichrist is predominantly aphoristic, of which this paper will not attempt to tie these ideas of Nietzsche's together into a coherent system. To do so, in my opinion, would not do Nietzsche justice. Instead these ideas will be presented and examined as they appear in the work - one by one and loosely associated.
Nietzsche begins by criticizing Christianity for denouncing and regarding as evil those basic instincts of human beings that are life-preserving and strength-promoting. In their place, Christianity maintains and advocate values that Nietzsche sees as life-negating or nihilistic, of which the most important is pity: Christianity is called the religion of pity. Pity stands opposed to the tonic emotions that heighten our vitality: it has a depressing effect. We are deprived of strength when we feel pity. That loss of strength which suffering as such inflicts on life is still further increased and multiplied by pity. Pity makes suffering contagious.
Pity, according to Nietzsche, is nothing less than the multiplication of suffering, in that it allows us to suffer along with those for whom we feel pity. It depresses us, sapping us of our strength and will to power. It is interesting to note that the German word for pity it, Mitleid, literally means "suffering with" (leid = pain, suffering + mit = with). So to feel pity for someone is simply to suffer along with them, as Nietzsche sees it. It also promotes the preservation of those whom nature has selected for destruction, or in other words, those who Nietzsche calls "failures." This preservation of failures, he argues, makes the overall picture of life look decadent, in that it becomes filled with weak and retrograde individuals. Pity, then, has a twofold effect for Nietzsche, since it both multiplies suffering and leads to the preservation of those who would cause us this suffering as the objects of our pity. Ultimately, pity is nihilism put into practice, according to Nietzsche, since it makes life simply seem more miserable and decadent and therefore more worthy of negation it. Nietzsche does not really develop this conception of pity any farther. As it stands, it seems to be rather problematic. Does his conception of pity mean to include compassion and sympathy as well? Can these words be used interchangeably? The German word for compassion is Mitleid as well, so it is possible that Nietzsche is using them interchangeably. The German word for sympathy, however, is Mitgefüühl, with which means “feeling." Perhaps Nietzsche is confusing pity with compassion and sympathy. Pity would seem to have a more negative connotation, in that it is a suffering-with that does not achieve anything; a waste of emotional energy toward those who are beyond help, in other words. Sympathy and compassion, as In understand the terms, seem to lean more toward having an understanding (a "feeling-with") of what someone is suffering through and being in a position to help that person. In take Nietzsche to be using (maybe misusing) these terms interchangeably, however, since he uses the word sympathy (Mitgefüühl) in other works in very similar contexts.
To Nietzsche, the Christian conception of God is one of the most decadent and contradictory of any type that has ever been conceived; The Christian conception of God-God as god of the sick, God as a spider, God as spirit, is one of the most corrupt conceptions of the divine ever attained on earth. It may even represent the low-water mark in the descending development of divine types. God degenerated into the contradiction of life, instead of being its transfiguration and eternal Yes, God as the declaration of war against life, against nature, against the will to live! God -the formula forever slander against "this world," for every lie about the "beyond" -God -the deification of nothingness, the will to nothingness the only means possible for them - psychologically prompted the Jews to elevate the holy.
Nietzsche is interested in showing how the God of Israel, that is, the God of the Old Testament, was at the time a God of a very proud, powerful Jewish person. This is a healthier conception of God than the Christian one, according to Nietzsche, in that it was the Jew's own God -for them only. This God was conceived of as a being to whom proud people could give thanks for their power and. Assuredness, and it was a manifestation of the Jews' own -proclaimed virtues. The ancient Jews ascribed both the good and the bad to their God, and in that respect it was consistent with nature, both helping and harming. When the Jews found themselves oppressed by Rome during the occupation of Palestine, however, with their freedom, power, and pride stripped from them, their God required a change that was reflective of their predicament. Instead of having a God that embodied the noble virtues of a proud, powerful person, as it once did, the God of the Jews developed into one that embodied the sentiments of an oppressed, resentful, and powerless groups. It became a God of people who were trying to preserve themselves at any cost, even if that cost were the inversion of their own noble values. They transformed their God into a God of the weak, the poor, and the oppressed, making a virtue out of the necessity of their own condition. Want of revenge on their enemies, by any and type of God to the point at which it became a God for everyone. That is to say, that their God became the one, true God, to whom everyone was held accountably. It also became a God that was all good, incapable of doing anything harmful, while the God of their enemies and oppressors became evil-in effect, the Devil. This is a very unhealthy type of God, according to Nietzsche, in that it "degenerates step by step into a mere symbol, a staff for the weary, a sheet-anchor for the drowning; when he becomes the God of the poor, the sinners, and the sick better than any other, and the attribute ‘Saviour’ or ‘Redeemer’ remains in the end as the one essential attribute of divinity . . .
"A God such as this can thus have an appeal to any group of people who are in a state of subjugation. But unlike the pagan Gods of strong, proud people, this type of God, as Nietzsche points out, remains in the state in which it was conceived (a God of the sick and weak), despite how strong a following it receives. It receives such a strong following because those who are from the ghettos, slums, and hospitals of the world, are the masses (There was no middle class in ancient Palestine; there were only the more elite subjugation and the subjugated masses). The God for "everyone" is attractive to those who live in conditions of powerlessness and misery, in that it allows them to deny their present existence in favour of a better one that is to come, in an appeal to the "redemption" of a world beyond. Therefore, this God-type becomes a life-denying one, in that it represents a denial of "this" life, as opposed to the healthy yes-saying, life-affirming, consistent -with the nature God of the ancient Jews. This particular type of God is therefore one that is ultimately nihilistic, involving the denial and rejection of the world and everything in it as sinful and decadent. Nature, flesh, and instinct thus become ever more devalued until they reach a point at which nature is seen as a cesspool, the flesh is mortified, and instincts are put in terms of evil "temptations." The concept of God continues to "deteriorate," as Nietzsche terms it, until what ultimately remains are a conception of God as "pure spirit," or in other words, entirely immaterial and non-corporeal, and this is held up as an ideal form of existence. Nietzsche simply thinks of this idea of pure spirit as pure "nothingness," in that it is merely an absurd, contradictory-to-nature postulation. To him, it ultimately represents nihilism and nothing less.
These claims of Nietzsche's are difficult to argue against, because Nietzsche does not really use much in the way of an argument here to arrive at these claims. Here is where one must have already read his Genealogy of Morals in order to understand better what is going on in these passages. The Genealogy actually does have a sustained argument for claims that are intimately related to the ones above that are found in The Antichrist. This argument deals with how the slave class (Jews), out of hatred and resentment, got their revenge on the noble class (Romans) by shaming them into accepting the slave class' morality. This is one of Nietzsche's most important claims, and it is essential to an understanding of The Antichrist. Nietzsche argues for this claim in the Genealogy by giving an account of the origins of the words ‘‘good' and ‘‘bad' and ‘‘good' and ‘‘evil'. In their etymological senses, the terms "moral" and "ethical" mean literally "common" and "ordinary." The etymological origin of the word "good," according to Nietzsche, reveals that it once meant "privileged," "aristocratic," "with a soul of high order," etc., and that "bad" originally meant "common," "low," and "plebeian." Even the German word schlecht, which is to mean, "badly," is akin to schlicht, which means "plain" or "simple." Furthermore, the word’s schlechthin und schlechtweg literally means "simply" or "downright." This was the language of the aristocratic upper classes in classical times, whom Nietzsche calls the noble, or master class.
The word "bad" was used by the master class, without any moral or ethical connotations, simply to refer and to differentiate them from common people, whom Nietzsche refers to as the slave class. The master class called them "good" due to their apparently superior social standing, or in other words, good" was simply a term for those things that they were: Fierce, proud, brave, and noble. The lower class, or the slave class, on the other hand, developed their own moral language, which is that of the language of "good" and "evil." The anger and hatred that the slave class had for the master class had no outlet, or in other words their anger was impotent, due to their physical and political powerlessness. Nietzsche calls this the anger of ressentiment. The only way the slave class could get their revenge on the master class was to accept nothing less than a complete revaluation of the master class' values. The Jews, who epitomized the "priestly" way of life, according to Nietzsche, were the ones who began what he calls the "slave revolt in morality," which inverted the "aristocratic value equation (good=powerful=beautiful=happy=beloved of God)," to make a good out of their own station in life, and an evil out of the station of their enemies-the objects of their impotent anger and revenge. The slave class accomplished this effect by turning "good" and "bad" into terms which not only made reference to one's political station in life, but also pointed to one's soul and depth as a person.
Thus, the language of "good" and "bad," which was originally used for the purpose of amorally denoting one's station in life, was reevaluated into the language of "good" and "evil," in which what is "good" is common, ordinary, poor, and familiar, and what is "evil" is damnable, unfamiliar, cruel, godless, accursed, and unblessed. In effect, the master class, over the last two thousand years, has been "poisoned" and shamed by the slave class and its language of "good" and "evil" into accepting the inversion of their own noble values, and thus the morality of the slave class, namely that which is "common," "ordinary," and "familiar," is the one that prevails today. From the above argument, understanding how Nietzsche claims that the subjugated Jews transformed their once yes-saying God into the nay-saying God of ressentiment and hatred is easier. This argument seems to ring true in many ways, but it is nevertheless based on the psychological presupposition that human beings are always seeking power and mastery over others, or in other words, that they are always exerting their "will to power," as Nietzsche calls it. In this way, Nietzsche sees the Jews as cunningly having found a way to regain power over their oppressors psychologically by shaming them with the use of the language of good and evil.
As he demonstrated, Nietzsche is careful not to confuse Buddhism with Christianity in his criticisms. Though he believes that both religions are nihilistic and decadent, he regards Buddhism as a far healthier and more realistic approach. In contrast to the Christian, who is always trying to avoid sin, the Buddhist’s main goal is to reduce suffering it. The latter does not fall into the same trap as Christianity does, according to Nietzsche, in that it does not carry alongside of any moral presuppositions. It has long abandoned them, seeing them as mere deceptions. The Buddhist is therefore not engaged in the practice of moralizing and making judgements about others. A Buddhist achieves this reduction of suffering by living a passive, non-compulsive lifestyle. He does not become angry or resentful, no matter what transgressions someone has performed against him. Does neither he worry about him nor others? He takes measures that will help him to avoid exciting his senses, while the Christian, on the other hand, does just the opposite though living an ascetic lifestyle and maintaining an emotionally charged relationship with his God through prayer. The Buddhist, in his avoidance of suffering, simply aims to maintain a steady peace, calm, and mildness in his lifestyle and temperament. It is a very important point that in pursuing this aim, the Buddhist actually succeeds, whereas the Christian does not succeed in removing sin, and is thus always in a state of wanting "redemption" and "forgiveness," never attaining the "grace" of God that he so desires. The Buddhist is therefore able to achieve a sort of peace and tranquillity on earth.
This idea is vital, in that it relates directly with Nietzsche's conception of the historical Jesus. Nietzsche paints a picture of the Jesus of history for being a true evangel, which means that he did not subscribe to the concepts of guilt, punishment, and reward. He did not engage in faith, but only in actions, and these actions prescribed a way of life that Nietzsche sees as rather Buddhistic. The evangel does not get angry, does not pass judgment, and does neither he gives to feel any hatred nor resentment for his enemies. He rejected the whole idea of sin and repentance, and believed that this evangelical way of life was divine in it, closing the gap between man and God so much that it is God, according to Nietzsche. Therefore, he saw prayer, faith, and redemption as farcical, instead believing that the "kingdom of heaven" is a state of mind that can be experienced on earth by living this type of peaceful, judgment-suspending existence, free from worry, guilt, and anger. Nietzsche argues that this was the life of Jesus and nothing more, and this way of life was the "glad tidings" which he brought:
The "bringer of glad tidings" died as he had lived, as he had taught -not to "redeem men" but to show how one must live. This practice is his legacy to humanity: his behaviour before the judges, before the catch-poles, before the accusers and all kinds of slander and scorn -his behaviour on the cross. He does not resist, he does not defend his right, he takes no step that might ward off the worst; on the contrary, he provokes it. He begs, he suffers, he loves with those, in those, who do him evil. Not to resist, not to be angry, not to hold responsible-but to resist not even the evil one - to love him.
This conception of Jesus is entirely alien to the one that the church has given us. For the creation and dissemination of this misconception, Nietzsche blames Paul. He also blames Jesus' immediate followers as well. Once Jesus had been executed, according to Nietzsche, his followers could not come to grips with the shock of his sudden loss. Filled with a want of revenge, they wanted to know who killed him and why. They determined that the rulers of the existing Jewish order had killed him because his doctrine went against that order. Not wanting his death to have been in vain, they saw him as a rebel against the Jewish status quo in the same way that they saw themselves as such. In this way, argues Nietzsche, his followers completely misunderstood him. The truly "evangelic" thing to do, he says, would have been to forgive his death instead, or to die in a like manner without judgment or need of vindication. However, Jesus' followers, resentful about his loss, wanted vengeance upon those of the existing Jewish order. The way that they accomplished this vengeance is the same as the way in which the Jews exacted their revenge on their Roman oppressors. They considered Jesus to be the Messiah of whom they were foretold by Jewish scripture, and in this way they elevated him to divine status as the Son of God (since he referred to him metaphorically -as a "child of God"). Faced with the question of how God could allow Jesus' death to occur, they came up with the idea that God had sent down his own Son as a sacrifice for their sins, as a sacrifice of the guiltless for the sins of the guilty, even though Jesus him refused to engage in feeling guilt. They then used the figure of Jesus and their misunderstanding of his doctrine of the "kingdom of God" for making judgments against their enemies in the existing Jewish order, just as the Jews they had turned their God into something universal for the purpose of passing judgment on the Romans:
On the other hand, the frenzied veneration of these totally unhinged souls no longer endured the evangelic conception of everybody's equal right to be a child of God, as Jesus had taught: it was their revenge to elevate Jesus extravagantly, to sever him from themselves precisely as the Jews had formerly, out of revenge against their enemies, severed their God from themselves and elevated him. The one God and the one Son of God-both products of ressentiment.
The figure of Paul, according to Nietzsche, exacerbated this misunderstanding of Jesus' teachings even further. In fact, that is an understatement. In this elevated figure of a crucified Jesus, Paul, with his "priestly" instincts, saw a way to gain power by forming "herds," as Nietzsche puts it. He completely rewrote the history of Jesus' life and Christianity for his own purposes, adding the doctrines of the resurrection, the immaculate conception, and the idea of personal immortality as a reward. Nietzsche attributes Paul's efforts to the hatred and ressentiment of the priestly class, and refers to Paul as the "dysangelist," or in other words, the "bringer of ill tidings." After Paul, the life of Jesus had been turned into something completely alien and antithetical to what it actually was. Again, this theory of Nietzsche's rests on the assumption that humans are in essence motivated by a will to power. Historical evidence concerning the historical Jesus is quite lacking in Nietzsche's account; rather it relies on a psychological profile of those who participated in this historical scene. However, this psychological analysis seems to present a scenario that is at least conceivable - especially more so than the idea of an immaculate conception and a resurrection. In think Nietzsche takes the Buddhistic element of Jesus too far, however. He provides too specifically an account of Jesus' lifestyle and philosophical persuasions without any evidence. It is still quite possible that Jesus could have simply been a more noteworthy rebel against the Romans and the Jewish status quo. More historical evidence would seem to be in order, but Nietzsche's account remains very compelling without it. Its profound significance lies in the fact that in it, Nietzsche has the courage and honesty to show us what, in his and every non-Christian's eyes, is far more likely to have been the case.
Nietzsche is also concerned with how deeply these decadent Christian values have ingrained themselves in our social practices and presuppositions. He especially laments how it has infiltrated the study of philosophy, particularly German philosophy.
Saying whom we consider our antithesis is necessary: it is the theologian and whatever has theologians' blood in its veins-and that includes our whole philosophy. Nietzsche argues that Christianity has poisoned philosophy with this nihilistic rejection of the body in favour of pure spirit. He compares the idealist philosopher with the priest, in that the former reduces everything in the world to idea, so that the physical world does not really exist. Figures such as Georg Hegel have done exactly this sort of thing, and Nietzsche is especially critical of German philosophy, both for its idealist’s tendencies and its conception of morality-both of which can be traced to this theologian's instinct. Nietzsche blames Germany's heavy Protestant tradition for the corruption of philosophy, and he criticizes Kant especially for being the latest, "greatest" philosopher to continue this corruption. Kant denies that the physical world can be apprehended directly (the world of noumenon) by the senses, and in this respect he is not a strict idealist, but rather some phenomenalists. What is meant by this is that all we can perceive is a phenomenon, which appear to us as ideas, and the physical (noemenal) world is something that we can never directly observe. Kant's system does not deny that the physical world exists, but it denies that it exists as we know it, and that is enough for Nietzsche to criticize him. One can understand, however, how Nietzsche sees the theologian's blood running through Kant's veins, in that Kant sees the physical world as mere phenomenon -as phantom reality. Nietzsche also criticizes Kant for finding a way to maintain a theoretical justification for morality -the Christian modality while removing God from the picture, namely the Categorical Imperative. Nietzsche rejects this system as one that turns people into automatons. He claims that a virtue must be one of a people's own inventions, not an abstract "duty" in-it, which must be followed universally for its own sake. If people do not follow its own virtues and do its own duty, he argues, it will perish. What Nietzsche seems to be getting at here is that people simply do what they need to do to thrive and preserve themselves, and as explained earlier, different people find themselves having to adapt to different circumstances, such as the Jews did under Roman occupation. Their virtues and duties had to change according to their situation. This is what Kant means when he says that "Kant's categorical imperative endangered life it"8 Nietzsche then goes on to denounce Kant's deontologicalism it: An action demanded by the instinct of life is proved to be right by the pleasure that accompanies it; yet this nihilist with his Christian dogmatic entrails considered pleasure an objection. What could destroy us more quickly than working, thinking, and feeling without any inner necessity, without any deeply personal choice, without pleasure-as an automaton of "duty?” This is the very recipe for decadence, even for idiocy. Kant became an idiot, and this man was contemporary of Goethe! This catastrophic spider was considered the German philosopher - he still is.
Kant, in this way, also goes against nature with his system of morality, according to Nietzsche. It is simply a Christian God's "Thou shalt" disguised by a secular, deductive philosophy, or as Nietzsche would see it, it is borne of the theologian's instinct. Any philosophy student can see where Nietzsche gets these ideas from, and in most respects, he seems to be right about this. However, not all of the nihilistic elements of philosophy have their roots in Christianity. Western philosophy has a fundamental inheritance from Plato, who also, as Nietzsche is surely aware, rejects the physical world. He does this not because he thinks of it as sinful, but because he thinks it is ultimately only shadow of reality. Instead, Plato favours the world of the Forms, in which the Forms are paradigms of all objects and concepts that can be found in the physical, sensory world in which we presently live. Plato favours this other world because the physical world is in a constant state of flux, he argues. Since we cannot have knowledge of something that is always changing, as he claims, there can be no real knowledge of anything in the physical world. Knowledge then, for Plato, can only be possible in this other world through contemplation of the Forms, since these Forms are unchanging. Therefore, western post-Socratic philosophy began with a rejection of the physical world, and this rejection also constitutes a large, if not major source of the nihilism in western philosophy about which Nietzsche so often complains.
The figures of mythology and literature embody a plethora of human facets, and allow us to observe various aspects of our psyches as they stand before us, interact, and live out the implications of their essence. Since Freud's 'The Interpretation of Dreams', psychoanalysis has also employed such a myth: that of Oedipus Rex. The present essay attempts to develop other dramatis personae of the structural mind, elucidating an antithetical relationship of Jesus Christ to Oedipus, and exploring its psychoanalytic and philosophic implications. This exploration brings us to a fuller appreciation of the symmetry of the structural theory, deriving the association of Christ with the superego, and deducing from the structural theory the presence of a Christ complex. By understanding Oedipus as an anti-Christ, we are given access to Nietzschean philosophy, and more explicitly develop the conceptual relationship between Nietzsche and Freud via the figure of Zarathustra.
Christ and Oedipus stand as two mythical kings, with remarkable and henceforth an obscure relationship to one another. From birth to death, we find a number of striking parallels and anti-parallels. Both Oedipus and Christ were born under unique circumstances, with the identity of their parents cloaked in obscurity. Oedipus was taken away from his parents in order to thwart infanticide and the oracle's prophecy that he would slay his father and lay with his mother. Thus was it unknown to Oedipus that his father and mother were king and queen of Thebes. The temperaments of Christ's parents were also obscured, and in a similar fashion it was initially unknown that Christ's father was the King of Kings, and his mother the holiest of holy. Oedipus and Christ were both unwitting heirs to a throne, and each was destined for a unique kingdom.
Christ and Oedipus ultimately developed an antiparallel relationship to their parents: Their respective triads were diametrically opposed. The father of Oedipus realized his mortality at the hands of his son, and his mother, and Iocaste subsequently had a directly sexual relationship with him. The father of Christ, however, was immortal, and his mother was virginal despite her conception and delivery. Oedipus destroyed the father and achieved union with the mother, while Christ shunned the mother and achieved union with the father. Oedipus destroyed the will of the father in order to inherit his kingdom, while Christ acquiesced to the will of the father in order to inherit his. Oedipus accomplished a worldly kingdom by the assertion of his will, while Christ accomplished a spiritual kingdom by the renunciation of his. We can observe that even the conclusions of each myth are anti-parallels. Oedipus was ultimately punished for affirming his will, while Christ achieved immortality for the renunciation of his. Christ and Oedipus thus appear in a state of dialectical antagonism with respect to one another.
The relationship of Christ to Oedipus has interesting implications both analytically and philosophically. We may first conceive of Christ as an anti-Oedipus, with particular respect to the structural theory of the mind. Oedipus may be thought to represent the libidinal drives of the id (namely Eros and thanatos), and has achieved satisfaction of these drives despite the socially organizing principles of family. In posit that as Oedipus is associated with the id, so should Christ be associated with the superego. Introducing a religious figure as the embodiment of the superego does not seem controversial, for it is posited to be a source of our notion of perfection, as well as our moral compass and conscience. Like the Christ figure who strives for union with the Father, the superego too, according to Freud, represents a "longing for the father." In addition to sharing characteristics with the superego, Christ also satisfies a further requirement: as the superego is antithetical to the id, so should the embodiment of the superego be antithetical to the embodiment of the id. Unlike other religious figures, Christ both instantiates the principles of the superego and is antithetical to the id's Oedipus. Thus, dynamic elements of the structural theory may be played out in the personae of Christ and Oedipus.
By virtue of symmetry with the Oedipal complex, we may posit the existence of a Christ complex. The id-affirming activity of Oedipus is anathema to social and familial organization of the external world (in short, the reality principle), and the mythical Oedipus encounters demise because of it. We must note in the myth, however, that Oedipus does enjoy a degree of success and actualization because of his behaviour in that he did acquire and serve the kingdom of Thebes-his will to power was satisfied. Simply stated, the drives of the id can and do bring about vitality, health, and success. While the superego appropriately counterbalances the drives of the id to achieve equilibrium, it is conceivable that these activities may also function pathologically, that is one may overcome one's drives to the point of debilitation. The superego may drive an individual to an aberrant point of guilt (wanting, for example, to suffer for the sins of the world), to the idealistic and false notion that one's parents are perfect (my father is God, my mother is without sin), and to the masochistic impulse that one must be crucified -if need be -in order to please them.
The Christ figure as a personification of the superego - demonstrates a situation in which an individual is so acquiescent to the will of another (in this case, God the Father) that he loses his very life before he will assert his own will. Like the Oedipus myth, the Christ’s myth also presents heterogeneous results: Christ is punished by crucifixion, but is then rewarded by resurrection and ascension. Considering the "morals" to each myth collectively, we note that some form of balance between these two poles must be achieved, as we would state for the relationship of the id to the superego.
In the previous section we considered Christ as an anti-Oedipus, but now we will consider Oedipus as an anti-Christ. The concepts of an "anti-Christ," as well as an earlier indication that unbalanced Christ-like attributes are the marks of pathology rather than perfection, hearken us back to the work of Nietzsche. The antagonism of Christ and Oedipus bears an interesting relationship to Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and suggests a novel Nietzschean interpretation of Sophocles.
Zarathustra's name is a European modification of the ancient Persian Zoroaster, from whom the religion Zoroastrianism is derived, a religion that asserts the near equal balance of good and evil gods. Zarathustra, the protagonist of Nietzsche's work in, 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra', was an innovative literary-philosophical treatise published in four parts. Zarathustra, who retreated to the mountains at the age of thirty, has descended ten years later to share his insight with the people. Zarathustra is clearly presented as a quasi-religious figure, and delivers speeches that often reveal a formal - if not substantive - unity with those of Christ. Of course, Nietzsche made no secret of his fervent anti-Christian sentiments, and in fact hailed him as the anti-Christ.
In various respects, Oedipus and Zarathustra stand in opposition to Christ, but what is their relationship to one other? Is there some order to the triad of Christ, Oedipus, and Zarathustra? In posit that these three personae bear a triatic relationship to one another that possesses a formal unity to the three spirituals metamorphoses introduced in the Prologue of 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra'. In the Prologue, Nietzsche describes three metamorphoses of the spirit, which take the form of the camel, the lion, and the child. The strength and the role of the camel are to bear the burden of old values-it acquiesces to the value system to which it is an heir. The first metamorphosis transforms the camel into a lion, who proves victorious in the battle against tradition's value-laden dragon. The dragon is described for being covered with scales that read "thou shalt," while the lion battles with the "In will." By conquering the dragon, the lion can only create conditions for the creation of new values, but is incapable of creating values it. This is the task of the allegorical child, who looks upon life freshly, and is able to be the creator of new values.
It is likely that the camel is representative of the Christian (if not Christ’s him), who, in Nietzsche's perspective, accepts and bears the yoke of slave morality, as well as the mediocre culture of Christian pity. Nietzsche calls, ironically, for a move forward to the pre-Christian and pre-Socratic value schema, and looks to the Greek concept of virtue, as well as the "master morality" he describes in 'Beyond Good and Evil'. Thus, the camel must metamorphosize into the lion who is able to assert its own will and conquer inherited values, although creating its own may not yet be able. In suggest that Oedipus be this lion in the desert. "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt honour thy mother and father" speaks the dragon: Oedipus replies "In will" and is exalted for it. Oedipus has killed the father, and it is this id-like Oedipal spirit that has similarly killed God the Father. "God is dead" announces Zarathustra, and it is the Oedipal spirit of man who is the murderer.
This Oedipal persona, he who has killed the father, is powerful but nonetheless limited. Like the lion of the three metamorphoses, he can slay the dragon of old values but lacks the capability of creating new ones. This deficit derives from the fact that, like the 19th century European intellectual climate of Nietzsche's time, Oedipus cannot face the truth with his eyes open. Nietzsche's fear for European thought is rooted in the terror of man after the realization that God is dead, and that we have killed him. When the metanarrative of scientific truth collapses in a similar fashion, man is destined for nihilism. When Oedipus realizes his own truth, he too retreats to the comforting darkness of nihilism by plucking out his eyes. In this of ways can we see this Sophoclean tragedy in Nietzschean terms. Nietzsche, however, demands that man go further, that he overcome him, that he see the truths and the lies while still opening his eyes to say Yes to life. Zarathustra is this child. The hermit who encounters Zarathustra on his descent from the mountain back to the world of man (a descent that is reminiscent of the philosopher's return to the cave in Plato's Republic) recognizes his awakening, saying: "Zarathustra has changed, Zarathustra has become a child, Zarathustra is an awakened one; what do you now want among the sleepers?" Zarathustra understands and accepts the death of God, but still abides by the wisdom of the earth with an affirming Yes. In this is he free for the task of valuation, the task of the child in the final metamorphosis.
It is perhaps strange that we even speak of a progression when in fact the movement of these mythical figures moves backwards in time, from Christ at the beginning of the first millennium, to Oedipus in the 5th century BC, to Zarathustra (its descendable character comes from the Persian figure Zoroaster) who dates back to two millennia BC We start at the phase of the camel, at the Christian phase, because that is where Nietzsche finds our cultural spirit. Envisioning a linear progression toward some future uebermensch would not be consistent with Nietzsche, but rather more likely that the metamorphosis of the spirit is something that goes back to or recurs, a prominent notion in Nietzschean thought.
Given that the id is Oedipal, and the superego is Christ-like, could we reason backwards from the myth and consider an undescribed or perhaps unactualized structural element that is Zarathustrian? Is this mystery of Zarathustra not a historical figure resulting from the cultural evolution of man, but rather a psychological state that we ourselves may achieve when we synthesize the antagonism of Christ and Oedipus? If the ego is a battlefield of the id and superego, could the Zarathustrian ego be the battle already won?
According to Freud, it is through the ego we have our primary connection to the world through perception, and it is the ego that ultimately mediates the presence or reality of the external world within the mind. Achieving control of the id is further responsible for censorship and repression into the unconscious, and attempts. Finally, recognizing that the superego is a modification of the ego in response to the Oedipal drives of the id is important. How would the Zarathustrian ego compare? As an embodiment of the Nietzschean "will to power," asserting that the essential condition of a Zarathustrian ego would be its strength is reasonable. When we posit such strength, we will see how all other elements of the structural theory naturally conform to a Nietzschean mould.
Zarathustra is a philosophical and religious figure who is introduced to supplant Christ -how, therefore, would a Zarathustrian ego affect the ontogeny of the Christ-like superego? Although the origin of the superego as a reaction to the Oedipal drives of the id has been, the superego emerges from the ego (and subsequently dominates it) by virtue of the weakness of the ego. According to Freud.
"[The superego] is a memorial of the former weakness and dependence of the ego, and the mature ego remains subject to its domination. As the child was once under a compulsion to obey its parents, so the ego submits to the categorical imperative of its superego."
The birth of the superego is clearly a result of the fragility of the ego, as well as its inability to harness the forces of the id. Thus, assuming a greater strength of the ego, we would expect less dynamic impetus for the formation of the Christ-like superego. In this way, the Zarathustrian ego would function as a Nietzschean anti-Christ. In posit that the strength of the Zarathustrian ego with the subsequent lack of need for the superego - could be conceived as either a step in the development of the individual (ontogeny) or a step in the development of the species psychologically (phylogeny).
Heidegger, a major 20th century philosopher and interpreter of Nietzsche, repeatedly puts forth the question in Nietzsche: Who is Nietzsche's Zarathustra? He returns us to the notion that Zarathustra is some type of bridge to the uebermensch, and inquires into the nature of this bridge.
”Nietzsche has Zarathustra say: 'For that man ought be redeemed from revenge that is for me the bridge to the highest hope and a rainbow after long storms.' How strange, how alien these words must seem to the customary view of Nietzsche's philosophy that we have furnished for ourselves . . . But then why is it that something so decisive depends of redemption from revenge? Where is the spirit of revenge at home? Nietzsche replies to our question in the third-to-last episode of the second part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which bears the heading ‘On Redemption’. Here the following words appear: "The spirit of revenge: My friends, up to now that was man's best reflection; May wherever there was suffering, there also had to be punishment."
Overcoming the spirit of revenge, from one perspective a step from Judaism to Christianity, takes upon more psychological significance here. Christian thought attempted (in principle) to turn us away from the "eye for an eye" sensitivity of Judaism, in order to purge us of a vengeful and punitive attitude toward others. It appears as if Nietzsche wishes to cure us of the Christian sensibility that engenders a vengeful and punitive attitude toward us. In the context of Nietzsche's thought, the association of punishment with suffering is also part of the Christian legacy. For those of "herd morality," the Christian superego adds offensive capabilities to injurious associations of guilt and causal significance to suffering, rather than viewing it as a part of the human, that is to say natural, condition. Not only must we suffer, but we must punish ourselves for the guilt about which has brought this suffering. Thus in The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche gives praise to Buddhism for its "struggle against suffering," as opposed to the Christian "struggle against sin."
For those of "master morality," suffering is also inflicted by a superego. The natural predilections of the master include the infliction of suffering on others. When this natural tendency is repressed, the impulse is turned inwards in the form of conscience: One comes to inflict pain on one, as well as moral censure for the very drive to inflict pain at all. Perhaps the Zarathustrian ego is strong enough to suffer and to inflict suffering without the need to punish it masochistically through the superego.
The Zarathustrian ego will also have a unique relationship to the id, as well as the instincts of the id. Before Freud conceived of the id, Nietzsche recognized the power and importance of the instincts. In Beyond Good and Evil, he points out the instinctual foundation of ostensibly rational thought, and furthermore suggests that the conscious, rather than the unconscious mind is the proper domain for these instincts. Thus, the rational ego is not opposed, and perhaps should not be opposed, to the instincts of the id.
We see a picture of the Zarathustrian ego emerging. It is strong, and thus limits the genesis or at least the power of the superego. Suffering and to inflict suffering without the masochistic retribution of punishment is able. It does not attempt to conquer the id but rather absorbs it, integrating and recognizing its instincts as an appropriate part of its conscious activities. Instead of repressing and censoring instinct - and therefore mutating it - it accepts and envelops it, or at least does not split it off into a rational ego and irrational id in the first place. With the psychic apparatus more wholly integrated at the surface and interface between interior and exterior, the Zarathustrian ego is capable of a richer and more natural interaction with the world. Unlike Oedipus, it is strong enough for truth; Unlike Christ, it is strong enough for lies.
We see a henceforth obscure relationship between the personae of Oedipus and Christ elucidated. Each born under some cloak of doubt, each destined to be the heir to a unique kingdom - one by the satisfaction of his impulses and the other by denial of his. If Oedipus represents a particular aspect of the mind that may experience pathology if unbalanced, then so may Christ represent an aspect of the mind that may be pathological if unbalanced (namely, the Christ’s complex). From the perspective of Nietzsche - who no doubt recognized the great importance of Christ as evidenced by his fervent opposition to all things Christian - we may also consider the Christ complex in its cultural expression. The so-called slave mentality, the culture of pity and weakness, and the inhibitions of cultural genius were, according to Nietzsche, in large part due to Platonic and Christian ideals. Once again, we may view the Christ’s complex in terms of psychic ontogeny (a Freudian perspective) as well as psychic phylogeny (a Nietzschean perspective).
The assertion of Oedipus as an anti-Christ led appropriately to the discussion of Nietzsche, and Nietzsche's own anti-Christ Zarathustra. "Who is Nietzsche's Zarathustra?" Heidegger asks. One answer is that he was a teacher of eternal recurrence and the uebermensch, although Heidegger directs us to a deeper consideration of the question. In posit that Zarathustra represents a new form of ego, strong enough to incorporate the instincts of the id, and therefore strong enough to have little needs for the genesis of the superego. This is consistent, in many ways, with Nietzsche's vision: an ego strong enough to recognize and embrace instinct, and to trust the wisdom of the earth rather than the ephemera of a Christian superego. From our cultural beginning of the Christian superego, we make the first step of recurrence to the Oedipal lion, slaying the dragon of "Thou shalt," with the id's "In will.” Finally, the child of the Zarathustrian ego is born: a new developmental beginning, a recurrence to the ancients, an opportunity for new strength that sees the death of God, but does not yearn again for the father in the form of a superego.
Within Freud's writings on the unconscious, dream interpretation, and the vicissitudes of the drives, resonates the ever-present spectre of Nietzsche's absence, as an intellectual indebtedness about which Freud consistently remained silent. Freudian scholars now regularly attempt to repay this debt, as the growing incidence of articles and books comparing Freud with Nietzsche testifies.
It is now recognised that Freud was aware of Nietzsche's remarks on the significance of dreams in The Birth of Tragedy (Lehrer 1995) and Human, All Too Human (Lehrer 1995, Lehrer 1999 Parkes 1999, and Assoun 2000) the writings on sublimation and repression (or ressentiment) in The Genealogy of Morals (Lehrer 1995) and the philosophy of will to power. The drives more generally (Lehrer 1995, Assoun 2000) do not wish here solely to establish a connection of influence between Nietzsche and Freud, as I believe this has been amply demonstrated in existing literature. Rather, my primary aim is to explore the differences between their philosophies: Differences that are often obscured by commentators in their enthusiasm to reveal the germ of psychoanalysis in Nietzsche's philosophy. In particular, are the self-referential interests in the different modes of discourse that each adopts in his effort to comprehend the enigma of the relation between the body and language that are most purposive. For, while there are clear comparisons to be made between Freud and Nietzsche's researches - and a clear genealogy between them. It is significantly attemptive, under which to contend that Freud's theory of drives demonstrate a commitment to a different 'economy' than Nietzsche's: In short (and according to a Nietzschean typology), Freud's writing exhibits a different 'will to power' to that of Nietzsche. Thus, notwithstanding their shared emphasis upon the importance of the unconscious, dreams, and the drives, Freud and Nietzsche's theories tell very different stories about the life of the drives. For, while the economy that informs Freud's theory accords to a conservative perspective, for Nietzsche life is expansive, even wasteful, and thus his philosophy is, economically, contrary to Freud. In would like to provide the conditions in this paper for a conversation between Nietzsche and Freud, although a rather one-sided conversation, in which Nietzsche is given the last word.
When I argue that the style, or economy, of discourse limits the kinds of answers that it can turn up, In employ Nietzsche's account of the relation between truth and the body that we find in his perspectives and his ontology of will to power (Wille zur Macht). Perspectives are the doctrine that all knowing is a perspectival-knowing - an interpretation developed by particular interests -and with particular goals and thus that 'truth' is always partial and motivated. Accordingly, will to power is what motivates perspectival truths: That is, what interprets. While the concept of perspective critiques the philosopher's notion of universal Truth, will to power is Nietzsche's challenge to the common conception of 'will,' as a singular form that controls our actions. He writes in his notes: “the will of psychology hitherto is an unjustified generalization . . . This will does not exist at all . . . ” “There are any durable ultimate units, no atoms, no monads,” he writes in another note: Rather, “'beings' are only introduced by us (from perspective grounds of practicality and utility).” Nietzsche introduces the term Wille zur Macht as a principle of multiplicity and growth. Rather than the monadic 'will,' he posits that there are many 'wills'- or, drives-at work in the course of events, and that through a constant struggle (Kampf), this plurality provides the impetus for events, decisions, and interpretations, or perspectives. The organism it is the outcome of a confederacy of wills to power (Willens-Punktationen) (Nietzsche 1970): a bargain struck between wills for the sake of a collective increase of power. The body interprets it as a unity, as any short-term victory achieved by one will or another is claimed by the will of consciousness. Will to power and perspectives are thus intimately connected for Nietzsche? All life, as will to power, interprets: That is, it orders whatever it encounters into a value hierarchy, according to its own needs. The organism it is of its own product of the will’s interpreting - or organising-one another. As such, the interpretation (or perspective) is indicative of a specific mode of life, and must be read not as impartial, but as a function of the particular order of drives of which the body is composed.
This understanding of the body as an organisation of competing and cohabiting wills, and of truth as conditioned by will to power, is what Nietzsche has in mind when he writes of philosophy, in Beyond Good and Evil:
Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: Namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and incognizantly latent anguish. In do not believe that a “drive to knowledge” is the father of philosophy; Yet, another drive had presently to employ in the understanding (and misunderstanding) as a mere instrument. (Nietzsche 1989).
Philosophy, thus conceived as a type of confession, attempts to conceal the drives, or interests, that motivate it with the veil of universal reason. For Nietzsche, the desire to be impartial, or to speak universal truths, betrays a weakness in the organism that will not own its truths. Throughout his writings, Nietzsche sets to unmasking the philosophers, demonstrating the 'type' of being for whom the truth of the text holds. From Socrates to Hegel, he diagnoses philosophers as sick animals, and philosophy as the host for their disease. For this reason Nietzsche looks forward to a time when 'philosopher-artists' use their discourse to explore, than conceal, the drives. Such a philosophy emphasises upon the creation of truth-through the use of a poetic language of metaphor-rather than truth's description or delineation, as if it were already 'there,' a thing-in-it. Nietzsche's philosophy of will to power, and the instinctual drives, too, may be regarded only as truth in this sense of truth as creation: Will, to power is a metaphor with which we can make sense of our experience, but is false if understood as a truth 'in-it?' Nietzsche's ontology of will to power is, by his own account, merely a 'waking dream': The interpretation of “nervous stimuli,” and subsequent positing of their causes. For Nietzsche, the 'healthy' philosopher acknowledges his truths as his own poetic creations: as the product of the free play-or dream-like interpreting-of his drives.
We find the criterion for Nietzsche's judgements of the philosophers in, On the Genealogy of Morals, are where Nietzsche develops his philosophy of drives through an account of how humanity has come to turn life against it, or, how we have come to value the inhibition of wills rather than their direct expression as will to power. This inhibition of will is most evident in religious doctrines that preach the renunciation of sensuality and desire. Yet, the philosopher, with his - effacing appeal to universal reason, also renounces life and will. So how did this devaluation of desire and will come to take a hold of humanity? Nietzsche responds to this question by characterising different 'modes of life' in terms of their perspectives. The 'master-type' is Nietzsche's appellation for those who take control of and determine their environment through the act of naming, evaluating whatever agrees with their constitutions as 'good,' and whatever does not agree-that is, whatever appears base, beneath consideration-as 'bad.' On the other hand, the 'slave-type'-Nietzsche's diagnosis for humanity in general-designates those 'ill-constituted' beings already labelled 'bad' by the master, and to whom the former morality poses a threat. The slave-type evaluates backwards, demarcating first whatever intimidates it as 'evil,' while that which appears most harmless becomes its highest virtue. However, Nietzsche's objection to slave morality is not simply that it is a derivative mode of evaluation. Rather, it is a question of culture: in other words, of the type of evaluation that shapes the life of these people. The ill-constituted slave has achieved a reversal of all values, and thus triumphs over the master. The master is 'better constituted' as his confederacy of wills, will to power, strikes a productive balance between the active force that commands, and the reactive force that obeys. Conversely, the circuitous mechanism by which the slave moral system develops and reroutes the drive so that 'life' is inhibited. In the slave-type the most passive (or 'reactive') drives dominate and subdue the most active. Like a herd animal, the slave lives so as not to draw to him the attention of the stronger, better constituted, beasts of prey. Thus life in the main is reduced to a mode of the preservation than increase. The master-type is marginalised, alienated from his power, and must convert to the slave morality in order to survive the wrath of the overwhelming number of slaves pitted against him.
It is in the account of the master's conversion to slave morality that we find the clearest resonances with Freud's psychoanalytic theory, particularly his accounts of sublimation and repression. For Nietzsche, the master is tamed through the acquisition of conscience, or more precisely “bad conscience”: That feeling of guilt that serves to reign in the expression of power. The victory of slave morality is to universalise the perspective of the downtrodden, the victim, and to install this perspective into the master, at whose hands the victim suffers. In grammatical terms, guilt consists in an identification with the object of an action rather than its subject, and thus all become passive, unable to give expression to their impulses. This situation came to prevail through the socialisation of the human, who had thereby to become “calculable, regular, necessary, even in his own image of him, if he is to be able to stand security for his own future” (Nietzsche 1989): in order, that is, to have the right to make promises. Nietzsche's variation on the theme of the social contract, therefore, demonstrates what must have occurred before we were able to make a contract in the first place. We must have had to install a sense of the other's well-being into ourselves at the expense of our own free expression of power, and this must have necessitated an extremely painful and protracted process of shaping the individual as more or less exchangeable type within the social economy:
If something is to stay in the memory it must be burned in: Only that which never ceases to hurt stays in the memory”-this is a main clause of the oldest (unhappily also the most enduring) psychology on earth. (Nietzsche 1989).
Only in the context of a social economy of sameness could the notion of guilt arise, according to Nietzsche, out of the concept of debt (the German for both 'guilt' and 'debt' is Schuld). 7 Punishment thus consists in the creditor's right to extract from the debtor's body the pleasure of freely discharging one's power at the expense of another. The nature of the economy is that all are exchangeable, and the juridical system regulates this principle by converting masters into slaves and slaves into masters, in what Nietzsche calls a “carnival of cruelty” (Nietzsche 1989).
In order to become a social animal - and thus, a regular participant in the economy of the social contract-we has had to renounce our own stake in life as will to power. Specifically, in the human animal will to power turns in upon it - makes its own victim - paradoxically for the sake of survival. In his explanation of this process, Nietzsche anticipates Freud's theory of repression and the Oedipus Complex, only here rather than castration, the master-type faces extinction:
In regard the bad conscience as the serious illness that man was bound to contract under the stress of the most fundamental change he ever experienced - that change that occurred when he found him finally enclosed the walls of society and of peace . . . in this new world they no longer possessed their former guides, their regulating, unconscious and infallible drives: they were reduced to thinking, inferring, reckoning, co-ordinating cause and effect, these unfortunate creatures; They were reduced to their “consciousness,” their weakest and most fallible organ.
The drives that once ordered the life of the master-type now go to ground, resorting instead to covertly means of satisfaction: “as a rule they had to seek newly and, as it was, subterranean gratifications” (1989). Nietzsche's explanation of this process again resonates with Freud's account of the vicissitudes of the drives:
. . . All instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward - this is called the internalization (Verinnerlichung) of man: thus it was that man first developed what was later called his “soul.” The entire inner world, originally as thin as if it were stretched between two membranes, expanded and extended it, acquired depth, breadth, and height, in the same measure as outward discharge was inhibited. (Nietzsche 1989).
When we are compelled not to act, we turn the charged drive inward as thought. The soul, or consciousness, thus constitutes a reservoir for the conversion of active force into internalised reactivity. For Nietzsche, we create an inner world to the extent that we fail to create in the outer world. The expansive economy of will to power — which wants only increases, so that it can then squander it in a grand gesture of expenditure — carves out its new domain within its own flesh (as the unconscious), so that an economy of sameness can operate at the level of consciousness.
The above passage from, On the Genealogy of Morals clearly resonates with Freud's psychoanalytic insights. Indeed, Freud uses the term Verinnerlichung, 'internalization,' to explain the manner in which we incorporate aspects of the outside world to form components of our own psyche: in particular, the internalization of outside authority in the case of the super-ego. Indeed, later in Genealogy Nietzsche also provides the germ for Freud's theory of sublimation: . . . the sweetness and plenitude peculiar to the aesthetic state [is] derived precisely from the ingredient of “sensuality” . . . so that sensuality is not overcome by the appearance of the aesthetic condition, as Schopenhauer believed, but only transfigured and no longer enters consciousness as sexual excitement. (Nietzsche 1989).
For Freud, too, sublimation represents a diversion (through repression) of the drives from their primary, sexual, aim, to produce creatively works such as art, writing, and music. The aesthetic state is then for Freud, as for Nietzsche, the outcome of sexuality that no longer enters consciousness as such. However, in order to appreciate the significant differences between Nietzsche and Freud, In wish now to turn to Freud's energetic account of the drive that lacks the largesse of Nietzsche's economy, because Freud's drive is not a vital force that emerged from the primordial chaos with other drives to produce the organism. Rather, Freud comprehends the drive in terms of a physicalist doctrine, and thus imports the metaphysics of ressentiment, or the slave perspective.
While Nietzsche - the philologists turned to the discourses of philosophers, artists, politicians, musicians, and writers in order to construct a theory of will to power, Freud began life as a medical student, and so his first speculations about the drive pertained directly to the body. In 1895 Freud wrote a letter to his friend Wilhelm Fliess that is now published under the title 'Project for a Scientific Psychology' (1966). This paper is significant because it sketches his early thinking on the origin and nature of the drives in the language of neuroscience. Freud describes 'Project' to Fliess as a 'psychology for neurologists' (Freud 1985). His description of the origins of the drive is, indeed, thoroughly embedded in the positivist discourse of neurology. Freud's account relies upon two principles that come into competition as the human infant becomes better able to deal with her environment, and her own body. The first is the principle of neuronal inertia, whereby “neurons tend to divest themselves of quantity.” The said quantity is invested in the neurons by stimuli that impress themselves upon the body. The nervous system, in accordance with the principle of inertia, deals with incoming excitations by attempting to discharge quantity (excitation) to the point at which the degree of stimulation equals zero. According to this model, feelings of pleasure and pain represent the level of excitation, or quantity, within the neurons. Pain indicates the presence of excitation, and generally the neurons are able to deal with pain through the reflex of flight, whereby the energy invested in the nerve-cell by the external source is used directly to counter that stimulus: The quantity is projected back outside, and so equilibrium is restored immediately to the nervous system. Accordingly, pleasure refers to the absence of stimulation, and is achieved once the neurons have divested it of quantity.
The second principle, the principle of constancy, comes into play with the emergence of the drive. Within Freud's neurological account, the drive (Trieb) can only be understood as a stimulus that originates inside the somatic substance it. However, the drive problematised the principle of inertia, as the neuron is unable to deal with the impulsional excitation (Triebreiz) by means of the reflex of flight: Rather, the drive must be satisfied at it’s very beginning, by means of complex behaviours that manipulate the external world. In the case of hunger, for instance, the stimulus can only be removed once hunger is sated, and so the organism must motivate the presentation of food. The demand for work (Arbeitsanforderung) placed upon the nervous system by endogenous stimuli is thus far greater than with external stimuli, and a level of tension must be endured by the nervous system, as a store of quantity adequate to motivate the drive is accumulated. Freud writes: . . . the nervous system is obliged to abandon its original trend to inertia (that is, to bringing the level [of Qh] to zero). It must put up with [maintaining] a store of Qh sufficient to meet the demand for a specific action. Nevertheless, the manner in which it does this shows that the same trend persists, modified into an endeavour at least to keep the Qh as low as possible and to guard against any increase of it - that is, to keep it constant. (Freud 1966, Strachey's square parentheses)
Constancy serves a dual purpose for Freud, as a pivot between a simple, reacting life-form, and the complex and dynamic human behaviours that commonly falls under the rubric of 'culture.' For, the principle of constancy overrides the principle of inertia, and thus, Freud explains how neurons are able to compromise their tendency to divest themselves of quantity, and rather store energy, in order to initiate actions that alter the external world for the satisfaction of the impulsional stimuli. But the principle of constancy also preserves the essential value of the principle of inertia for Freud. Insofar as the neurons fails to divest it immediately of energy accumulated to it from stimuli, it does so only provisionally, keeping the quantity of intercellular energy “as low as possible” and guarding “against any increase of it” (Freud 1966). Freud's position here is therefore conservative. He seeks merely to explain how organisms with nervous systems are capable of anything more than simple reactivity, while maintaining a theoretical apparatus that is based upon the principle that all action is a reaction to something.
The neurological apparatus with which Freud explains the function and origin of the drives in 'Project' clearly provides a poor model, when it is compared with Nietzsche's rich account of the drive as will to power. There seems to be a chasm between the drive of Freud's first musings, and the psychoanalytic theory expounded in Instincts and their Vicissitudes, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and The Interpretation of Dreams. Caught within the physicalist framework, the drive is reduced to nothing but an effect of excitation. Finding a way from this point to the complex behaviours that characterise the spectrum of culture for which Freud wanted to account is difficult. In his later writings Freud renegotiates his commitment to neurology, and to the discovery of the origin of the drives in the body, stating instead that “every endeavour to think of ideas as stored up in nerve-cells and of excitations as migrating along nerve-fibres, has miscarried completely” (Freud 1984), and that “our psychical topography has for the present nothing to do with anatomy.” In assume that the endeavours to which he refers in the above quotation were his own, in 'Project,' and that Freud was less convinced by this work than he needed to be to accept the neurological model as the definitive explanation of mental events.
In the psychoanalytic writings his focus shifts from the body to language. Taking the discourse of the analysand as his object, Freud shows that the unconscious is structured like a language. The drives assert themselves into consciousness through parapraxes (i.e., slips of the tongue or pen, or errors in the hearing or reading of words), hysterical symptoms, and dreams, and Freud interprets each of these signs in terms of a language of metaphor. Yet despite Freud's turn from a language of neurology to a psychoanalytic discourse, he clearly looks forward to a time when psychical entities, such as the drive, can be physically located, lapsing every now and then into a speculative discourse that demonstrates nostalgia for his early neuroscientific researches. Freud's psychoanalysis, born of the necessity for a discourse concerning psychical, rather than physical, phenomena, is littered with biological and neurological analogies, and digressions that demonstrate his desire to return to the nerve-cell in search of the foundations of language, art, and culture.
An instance of this reinscription of the neurological discourse into the psychoanalysis 'proper,' and found in Instincts and their Vicissitudes. As the title suggests, for the most part this text is concerned with the 'vicissitudes,' or destinies, of the drives: or in other words, what the drives does when their path to immediate gratification is blocked and diverted, and how this process culminates in perversity and culture. The drives whose vicissitude’s Freud describes in this later work appear like the vital drives of Nietzsche's philosophy. For instance, he writes: They are numerous, emanate from a great variety of organic sources, act in the first instance independently of one another and only achieve an almost comprehensive synthesis at a late stage. (Freud 1984)
This imagery is highly evocative of Nietzsche's will to power, and is far more conducive to explaining psychological phenomena such as repression and sublimation than his earlier neurological model. However, in the first part of the paper, where he is concerned with defining the basic concept with which he works, Freud attempts to transpose his seminal thoughts in 'Project' into the language of psychoanalysis. The fit between the two styles is not altogether cosy, and the text show signs of strain at a number of pivotal places. Freud begins the paper by laying down some basic terms of reference for his discourse of psychoanalysis that, because of the infancy of the science, he says, “necessarily possesses some degree of indefiniteness.” The most fundamental concept, he writes, is of course the drive (Trieb), whose various possibilities he traces in the second part of the paper. However, he then proceeds to discuss the nature of the drive as a subclass of the stimulus, and so returns us to the logic of his earlier physicalist perspective. The fundamental concept is not the drive after all, but stimulus, and all action stem from the stimulus, as reaction.
Furthermore, if we look to the original German for 'stimulus,' Reiz, we find numerous - and at times, conflicting—possibilities. Reiz, indeed, does mean 'stimulus,' but we can glean a great deal about the difference in perspective between Freud and Nietzsche when we consider its less scientific meanings. Reiz could also be translated as 'irritation,' 'excitation,' 'provocation,' or else 'attraction,' 'fascination,' 'charm.' Freud clearly interprets Reiz, stimulus, only in its most negative connotation, as an irritation that the body would want to avoid, and thus as the antithesis of pleasure. Within this paradigm, Freud understands the drive it in a most equivocal sense, as both the irritant and the panacea, in a system that essentially wants nothingness. This clearly puts Freud at odds with Nietzsche, who, on the basis of this account of drive, would count Freud among the ascetic priests who preach flight from all sensuality and life. Nietzsche would have exploited the more positive connotations of the term Reiz (charm, attraction, fascination), advocating the confrontation of nonpleasure and pain in order to achieve a greater pleasure, as a heightened sense of power. Certainly, he would not accept Freud's definition of pleasure, the pleasure of the masses that he calls “wretched contentment,” or “miserable ease” (erbärmliches Behagen) in Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Nietzsche 1969).
In terms of Nietzsche's genealogical method, Freud’s theory of drives-reliant as it is clearly upon a prior conception of 'stimulus' as irritant - falls into the category of a slave evaluation. Freud's account situates the body as a victim to external pressure, and the drive as requiring a hostile outside the world for its existence. Freud's problem, at least in the narrow terms of Nietzschean genealogy is the difficulty in straddling the mind-body divide with a discourse that still purports to be scientific. Attempting to negotiate the transition among the first, physicalist, portion of Instincts and their Vicissitudes and the second properly psychoanalytic part. Freud characterises the drives themselves as the pivotal term between mind and body, repeating Descartes's 'pineal gland' gesture: If now we apply ourselves to considering mental life from a biological point of view, an 'instinct' appears to us as a concept on the frontier between the mental and the somatic, as the psychical representative of the stimuli originating from within the organism and reaching the mind, as a measure of the demand made upon the mind for work in consequence of its connection with the body.
By way of contrast, in his own accounts of the relation between mind and body, Nietzsche steered clear of anything but the most speculative and playful use of scientific discourse. In accordance with his philosophy of perspectives, Nietzsche held that science lacked the capacity to provide the kind of knowledge needed for humanity's convalescence from slave morality. On the contrary, according to Nietzsche science found it firmly embedded in slave morality, having internalised the perspective of passivity, the effect, but being particularly ill-equipped for comprehending active force, the cause.
Rather than frame his theory of drives in scientific terms, and thus attempt to follow them back to their somatic source, Nietzsche exploits the ambiguity between the body and language in his writings. Nietzsche uses the body as a metaphor for the intellect, and intellect for the body, such that the reader is left chasing him through the labyrinth of his thought, which refuses to stop on either side of the spirit-body divide. In order to comprehend Nietzsche's method here, we will need first to consider his particular definition of metaphor. In his early essay On Truth and Falsity in their Extramoral Sense (Uber Wahrheit und Lüge in aussermoralischen Sinne) Nietzsche argues that all truth is metaphorical: “Truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions, justly as the impaired metaphors that have become powerless to affect the senses . . . ” (Nietzsche 1972). This is because for Nietzsche all language, far from picking out elements and structures in the objective world, operates entirely in terms of a logic of metaphor. Metaphor is not a subset of language: Rather, metaphor encompasses language, as well as all thought and perception. Nietzsche bases this claim upon two suppositions, each of which recur often throughout his body of work: First, he contends that metaphor involves the carrying over (Übertragung) or projection -of meaning from one sphere to a completely other sphere: Some nerve-stimulus, first transformed into a percept. First metaphor. The percept again duplicated into a sound. Second metaphor. Each time he leaps completely out of one sphere right into the midst of an entirely different one.
Second, Nietzsche holds that no two things are identical: Rather, there always remains and irreducible difference between any two things that are claimed to be the same: Every idea originates through equating the unequal. No one leaf, is exactly similar to any other, so certain are it that the idea “leaf” has been formed through an arbitrary omission of these individual differences, through a forgetting of the differentiating qualities, and this idea now awakens the notion that in nature there is, besides the leaves, its something called the leaf . . . Truth' becomes regarded as such by the people after the novelty and innovation of an association between two different concepts or things have worn off. Our specifically human creativity is to project a structure upon an unknown thing, in order to render it known. This experience of 'making' truth -of transforming the unfamiliar thing into something that we already understand -increases one's feeling of power. Thus truth comes to be associated with this emboldening heightened sense of one's own potency (höhe Gefühlen). Eventually, we forget about the act of creativity that generated a particular truth, and it is 'canonised': Placed beyond question and universalised. The element of risk involved in leaping from one known sphere into the unknown is emptied from this canonised Truth, comes to be felt as reassuring rather than power enhancing.
When he uses metaphor to express the relation between thought and the body, then, Nietzsche transports the reader to a new perspective with which to understand, and thus create anew, this connection. Nietzsche uses metaphor, as well as his theories of will to potential powers and perspectives, to connect corporeal processes with intellectual pursuits, such as philosophy. He argues, for instance, that the body processes the plurality of the world with which it understands each other in the same manner as it digests food. In this way, he continues, the intellect is subject to indigestion just as the gut is. Nietzsche discusses the need for the ability to forget in, On the Genealogy of Morals: The man in whom this apparatus of repression is damaged and ceases to function properly may be compared (and more than merely compared) with a dyspeptic -he cannot “have done” with anything.
Here Nietzsche explicitly states that the comparison between the inability to forget and indigestion is no mere comparison. Rather, the process of digestion and mental life are equivalent, and thus may be described in precisely the same terms. Likewise, society, or culture, is also equated by Nietzsche with the digestive function: . . .modern society is no “society,” no “body,” but a sick conglomerate of chandalas -a society that no longer has the strength to excrete.
The society that retains more than it has the strength to accumulate, along with the man who hasn't the strength actively to forget, are constipated, sick bodies. Each is an organised 'body' that in some sense is coming undone-returning to chaos -because it cannot completely assimilate that disorderly 'outside.'
In this manner, Nietzsche measures an organism's power in terms of the efficiency of its digestion. For instance, in Beyond Good and Evil, he imagines his hoped for 'philosophers of the future' . . . with teeth and stomachs for the most indigestible. And in Genealogy, he writes: A strong and well-constituted man digests his experiences . . . as he digests his meals, even when he has to swallow some tough morsels. If he cannot get over an experience and have done with it, this kind of indigestion is as much physiological as the other -and often in fact merely a consequence of the other . . . He then continues, With such a conception one can, between us, still be the sternest opponent of all materialism.
Nietzsche demonstrates here that his poetic method to communicate the necessary relation between mind and body is all important. He does not reduce the mind to body, in the manner of materialism. Rather, the metaphor equivocates between the mind and body. According to Nietzsche, we can never depart from language in order to discover its pure bodily source. The scientific materialist assumes that the body, as an object of observation, is that inert, unseeing body of the very mind-body dualism that he seeks to overcome. Rather, Nietzsche attempts to reveal the full dimensions of corporeality through a use of language that exploits the creativity of will to power instead of employing a descriptive language to reduce all thought to twitching flesh. Metaphor achieves this for Nietzsche, because, as Übertragung “carrying over” -it exhibits the movement of will to power it: The concept, sensory perception, nourishments, reproduction, all operate according to the logic of metaphor, according to Nietzsche.
If thought is depicted by Nietzsche in terms of the bodily metaphor of digestion, the body is also represented in terms of thought: The body is a great intelligence, a multiplicity with one sense, a war and peace, a herd and a herdsman. Your little intelligence, my brother, which you call 'spirit,' is also an instrument of your body, a little instrument and toy of your great intelligence.
Furthermore, thought in its actuality is, according to Nietzsche, merely (nur) a metaphor for the body: We are in the phase of modesty of consciousness. Ultimately, we understand the conscious ego it only as a tool in the service of a higher, comprehensive intellect. Then we are able to ask whether all conscious willing, all conscious purposes, all evaluations are not perhaps only means through which something essentially different from what appears in consciousness is to be achieved.
For Nietzsche, the entire body thinks. Conscious thought, however, is a cheap reflection of the body: it is the 'little intellect' in contrast to the 'great intellect,' or unconscious.
Nietzsche's 'model' of the relation between the bodily 'origin' and language, or thought, is metaphorical. Therefore, we cannot see this relation as causal: at least, not in any known sense of the word 'causal.' The relation is untraceable: we move from one sphere to an entirely different sphere, with no ability to scrutinise exactly what occurred in this movement. By utilising his bodily metaphors to refer to intellectual events, and intellectual metaphors to speak of the body, Nietzsche evokes for the reader the state of equivocation, between language and the body, upon which human being perennially hovering. Moreover, Nietzsche's reliance upon metaphor to write his philosophy also mimics this interaction between language and the body, whereby multiplicity conceals it by means of a condensation (metaphor), and continuous deferral (metonymy), of meanings.
We find the germ of Nietzsche's modelling of the body-language relation reflected in The Interpretation of Dreams. Here Freud uncovers a “language of the unconscious,” whereby dream images are over determined by the material that the mind processes by means of condensation and displacement and, according to Lacan, these mechanisms exhibit the same logic as metaphor and metonymy. Indeed, Freud uses the term Übertragung in that text to describe a process of “transcription,” or “transference,” whereby a memory is emptied of its significance and attributed a new meaning by the unconscious. Like Nietzsche's conception of metaphor as Übertragung, carrying over to another sphere -Freud's “transference” places a dream thought into a different context, so that the thought may get past the censor to consciousness. In this manner, body and thought are brought together through the dream interpretation.
Perhaps this moment in The Interpretation of Dreams best preserves Nietzsche's own concerns to think through the relation between the body and language precisely by bringing them into a relation together. Arguably, Freud's strongest work consists in his explication of the drives that reflects something of the manner in which language operates: his account of parapraxes, for instance, and his theory of the unconscious processes that function like a language. But we are able to learn a valuable lesson from the parts of his work with which Freud he was least comfortable: That is, the neurophysical explanation of the drives. Especially when the question concerns the relation between the body and language, the type of language, in that we use directly influences the kind of truth we are able of produce. In other words, the genre of the discourse it indicates a particular perspective. For the moment, then, Nietzsche triumphs over Freud. Whether Nietzsche could withstand a Freudian analysis of his own writing is another question, for another paper.
All and all, Freudian psychoanalysis (as part of the psychodynamic movement and approach) and existential, humanistic, psychotherapy (which is stemmed from the Nietzschean ideas and doctrine, among others) constitutes two totally independent, distinct and rival approaches of psychotherapy, which employ their own method of treatment, doctrine and principles. Remarkably, of an illustration, Viktor E. Frankl has been expelled from the Psychoanalytic society and organisation because of his views and critic of psychoanalysis, broke away from psychoanalysis and established Logotherapy, an existential, psychotherapeutic method and school in psychiatry, known as the third force in Viennese psychotherapy (after Freud and Adler), which is based upon the Nietzschean doctrine. Thus, Logotherapy and Psychoanalysis constitute two rival types and methods of psychotherapeutic treatment with their own objectives, principles, theoretical core and doctrines.
Hence, as a response and alternative to the works that compare psychoanalysis and the Nietzschean doctrine and maintain that the Nietzschean doctrine constitutes the theoretical core of psychoanalysis, the present paper endeavours to contrast these works and their thesis and demonstrate that the definition and treatment of both its subject matter (man and his paradoxical beingness finds his human existence) and key concepts in human existence by Freudian psychoanalysis and the principles. A functional basis of Freudian psychoanalysis totally differs of both the treatment of the same subject matter and key concepts by the Nietzschean doctrine and from the essence and principles of the Nietzschean doctrine. Wherefore, the main thesis is that the Nietzschean doctrine discloses as not having proper representation that would constitute the theoretical core and essence of psychoanalysis.
Accomplishing the objective of the present paper and establishing and strengthening its thesis would be carried out by doing two things simultaneously. Firstly, depicting Freudian psychoanalysis and the Freudian psychoanalytic doctrine, the historical and philosophical roots of the psychodynamic movement, the Nietzschean doctrine, the existential movement and Frankl's technique and the psychotherapeutic approaches of Logotherapy and its doctrine (and showing that the Nietzschean doctrine, in fact, constitutes the theoretical core of Logotherapy, rather than of psychoanalysis). Secondly, displaying the differences between psychoanalysis and existential psychotherapy (when Logotherapy is utilised as an illustration and as a representative of the existential approach to psychotherapy and is labelled existential analysis) in the domain of psychiatry and clinical psychology, as to the differences between the Nietzschean doctrine and the Nietzschean philosophy and the Freudian psychoanalytic method of treatment, school and doctrine, while still acknowledging and demonstrating the similarities between the Nietzschean and Freudian doctrines, mainly as for terminology.
Absolving the difference and rivalry between psychoanalysis and existential psychotherapy, and the distinction between the Freudian and the Nietzschean doctrines, it should be emphasised that it was the relation between Kierkegaard and Nietzsche's ideas, which contributed to the development of the understanding of man and his crisis, and Freud's development of specific methods and techniques for the investigation of the fragmentation of the individual - human - being in the Victorian period that has provided the basis for existential psychotherapy. Both constructive approaches (Freudian psychoanalysis and existential psychotherapy), coupled with the Nietzschean theoretical work and doctrine, examine the human being, his existence and his crisis, despair and suffering (both neurosis and psychosis) in an attempt to alleviate them.
Accordingly, since the technique of interacting directly with the given individual and analysing the analysed individual is essentially similar for both approaches and schools of psychotherapy, it is the distinguished variation in the essence, nature and character (as far as the view of man and his character and of the human existence are concerned) between the Nietzschean (and the Kierkegaardian, for that matter) doctrine and the Freudian doctrine and in the manner in which they have been devised which makes most of the difference and affects the psychotherapeutic treatment. Hence, it is the difference between the Nietzschean (and the Kierkegaardian) theoretical doctrine, endeavours, system and approach and those of the Freudian psychoanalytic school and doctrine that is responsible for the difference between the two approaches of and to psychotherapy.
In fact, while both the Freudian and the Nietzschean doctrines (and for that matter the Kierkegaardian doctrine) strive to comprehend man, his existence and his crisis, each of these doctrines possesses a different theory as for the nature and image of man, i.e., what he is. What determines him and makes him what he is, which they employ to obtain this understanding and a knowledge of the manner in which this understanding should be achieved. Consequently, the psychodynamic school and movement (namely, psychoanalysis) and existential psychologies are two distinguished and distinct theories of personality that govern and affect the clinical, psychotherapeutic treatment and method of treatment.
Sigmund Freud was a physician, a specialist in neurology, with a wide education in the life sciences and the natural philosophy and sciences. He practised neurology and medicine and focussed on the cure of ills’, as neurotic, individuals, or at least on an improvement of and in their condition and state of health. He was a brilliant, distinguished and ambitious member of the community of scientists, neurologists and doctors and strived to make a reputation for him in those fields. Moreover, at the beginning counts of a successively succeeding to his becoming famous, he was dependent on a career as an established physician and neurologist to make a living and support him and his dear ones and could not allow him the slightest reputation as an outcast and as an eccentric.
As a result, the psychoanalytic school and the psychodynamic movement created and devised by Freud at the turn of the nineteenth century have their roots and have been immensely influenced by the spirit and mood of the second half of the nineteenth century in which Freud lived and commenced his career. The materialist, reductionist, empiricist, positivist and mechanist ideas of the time have created an ambience that asserted that everything in the universe has an indisputable reason, cause and determinant. Accordingly, nothing in the universe is accidental which may occur due to chance or free will. Moreover, the positivist doctrine and movement maintain that the ultimate goal of man is to find the explications, reasons, causes and determinants for every element in the universe. Hence, according to this assertion and to doctrines such as reductionism, empiricism and associationism, even such a complex 'object' as a human being can be fully explained by being reduced to human elements, such as personality, character, behaviour, utterances, emotions, mental processes etc., which are induced and well-determined by the entities which cause and generate them and, thus, have reasons as for why they occur.
Hence, the Freudian method of psychoanalysis, the psychoanalytic doctrine and the psychodynamic movement have, originally, endeavoured to turn the fields of psychology and psychiatry, and the area of psychotherapy, into a science, which is rooted in the fields of biology and mechanist physiology but spreads outwards into sociology, which describes human personality, behaviour and mental and physical condition in dynamic and goal-directed terms in an attempt to explain them. It aims to look for and find the indisputable reasons, causes and determinants for all aspects and forms of human mental events, human personality, human utterances, human behaviour and human emotions, feelings, disturbances, crisis and hardships (illnesses, both neurosis and psychosis, malaise etc.). Consequently, the emphasis, and presupposition, of psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic movement is the search for all those elements that define, designed and determined this object, called a person, in order for him to understand him by explaining and analysing him. It, thus, comes up with specific theories as for the structure, makeup, components and features of the human psyche and the reasons as for man's crisis, despair and neurotic/psychotic condition.
Hence, Freudian psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic schools are approaches that regard all human beings as a single, homogeneous entity that should be treated in a similar origination came by means of a single, predetermined, homogeneous set of theories and a single technique to obtain the desired cure, mainly to an organic, physiological manifestation, the cease of paralysis, the resistance of vomiting and repulsive sensations of food and liquid and the like. Thus, the development of human personality, human nature and morality and the character and the components of the human psyche are induced, determined, innate, predetermined and the same in and for all individuals and constitute solid explanations for human conduct human feelings, emotions, morals, ideologies and the like.
Furthermore, the disturbances and the crisis of given individuals are also induced and determined by specific events, experiences and stimuli and interruptions with the normal proceeding of the predetermined development of the human personality and morality. The psychoanalytic treatment is, therefore, also one for all patients. The causes, determinants and reasons as for the patient's illness and condition have to be discovered, explained, analysed treated and cured, using the given doctrine and technique of psychoanalysis. The desired outcome of the approach is the alleviation and elimination of the undesired syndromes and, by consequence, the cure of the condition, crisis and illness.
Accordingly, the psychoanalytic, psychotherapeutic technique strives to take the suffering individual and relieve his condition by searching and finding the sources, reasons and causes for it and to make the analysed individual fully aware of the causes, determinants and reasons for his condition, based on the rigid, predetermined, psychoanalytic theories. The examined, analysed individual lies on a coach or sits on a chair, facing the psychoanalyst, and talks about the things that annoys, distress and trouble him, in that what may just as well embody his life history (case study). Whatever comes up into his mind (free association). He recounts his dreams, his most intimate feelings, urges and emotions, events that occurred to him (both disagreeable and agreeable) during his entire life and the like.
The psychoanalyst listens very carefully and attempts to study and examine carefully the analysed individual's utterances and find meaning in them and to employ his (the psychoanalyst's) findings to alleviate the analysed individual's crisis, annoyance, distress, despair and illness. Thus, the psychoanalyst strives to find the reasons, causes and determinants as for the crisis, distress, neurosis and psychosis of the analysed individual and attempts to cure them and ameliorate the analysed individual's condition and state of being by virtue of finding connections and relations between the analysed individual's life story (events that occurred to him) and his distress, neurosis and psychosis, analyse those sources and causes of the neurotic/psychotic condition and make sure that the analysed individual is fully aware of them and whatever feelings, urges, emotions and sensations that they involve - hatred, frustration, aggression, anger, fear, terror, attraction attractiveness, love and the like.
Hence, the psychoanalytic, psychotherapeutic sessions focus on and work away at the revelation, examination and analysis of these events and items that are, in turn, thought by the psychoanalyst to have induced and determined the distress, neurosis and psychosis in an attempt to scrape and withdraw all the defensives, protective layers, which the analysed individual creates and employs to protect him and prevent him from suffering, and find out as much as possible about them. These defensive, protective layers prevent and suppress the painful information, events and experiences from being aware of and felt. Experienced by the individual who has undergone and experienced them in the past. The non-subjectivity of psychoanalysis is to discuss and analyse the causes for the patient's condition in the releasing lineages as held accountable for the extractions in meriting inadequacies that come without restraint and confinement.
As part of the endeavour to find reasons, causes and determinants for everything and every human aspect, in general, and for the patient's condition, in particular, an important aspect and element in the Freudian psychoanalytic doctrine and in the Freudian technique of psychoanalysis is the search for symbolic meanings that are meant to have significant meaning as symbolic representations of other matters, moreover too essential imports that approve in acceptation that is perfectly unsaid by some sorted in an ordinance for the understanding of the patient's life and condition than the given, original, items. This technique is normally applied in Freudian dreams interpretation where the unconscious has to be revealed and analysed. Thus, a totally innocent, ordinary, everyday image and object can represent something far more significant, as far as the patient's condition is concerned. As an illustration, an image of a comb may represent a penis and combing one's hair can represent and mean some hidden, subconscious sexual urges directed toward a given person taken to be the source of the particular neurosis/psychosis. Likewise, in the famous case of little Hans' phobia of horses (1909), a big horse and Hans' fear of it have represented Hans' father and Hans fear of being castrated by him, the Oedipus complex.
The psychoanalyst, therefore, places meaning into every word and item that the analysed patient has uttered in her recalling of her dreams by using a series of already made and well-defined, preconceived theories and explanations (which are likely to involve sex, the Oedipus Complex, for instance) to find the reasons and explanations as for the patient's condition. To be fair, Freud has demanded that the interpretation of dreams would be carried out by a professional psychoanalyst who is well trained in this technique.
As a clinical, practical illustration as for the psychoanalytic doctrine and the technique and method of psychoanalysis, the psychoanalyst may conclude from the analysed neurotic patient's utterances during free association, her recounting of her dreams and fragments of memories of events in her life and by virtue of applying symbols and symbolic representations to her utterances and images in the patient's dreams that the patient's inability to have someone touching, grabbing or holding her head and her feeling of severe stress and terror while this action is being carried out is the result and direct consequence of a sexual abuse that occurred during early childhood, during which the abuser has forced the abused child to have oral sex with him by holding and grabbing the young child's head, and was regressing and suppressed by ill’s of Long-suffering from which her consciousness is to protect her from such are the aliments or the suffering comforted by its owing sector of defence mechanisms.
The psychoanalytic therapy is based on the presumption that once the adult neurotic patient overcomes and overpowers the defence mechanisms and becomes aware of the event and experience viewed as the reason as for her neurosis and the feelings, emotions and sensations that these experiences and events seduce the patient, and, least of mention, by means that are aforementioned as a consequent. The Great Theoretical Difference Between the Psychotherapeutic, Existential Application of the Nietzschean Doctrine and Freudian Psychoanalysis
In his writings (Essays on Aesthetics, Untimely Meditations, The Gay Science and others) Nietzsche wishes to be considered by his readers and viewed in and by history as a psychologist who practices’ psychology and has devised 'a new psychology'. There seems as many that are contiguously precarious of Nietzsche and the neurotic patient's feelings and emotions toward the abuser, toward her parents and other family members, any feelings of guilt, shame, humiliation etc., the psychoanalytic session, thus, endeavours to scrape and remove the protective layers that suppress those feelings and emotions and the traumatic event and experience, it, to be able to analyse them and discuss them freely.
Consequently, the sources, causes and determinants of the neurosis/psychosis are, therefore, suppressed, repressed and regressed and buried deep in the human psyche and are obscure and hidden from one's awareness, although active in his psyche. This given neurotic patient has retrogressed into the horrendous, traumatic experience from her consciousness as part of her defence mechanism to defend and protect her and was not conscious of it. Nevertheless, the traumatic experience was embedded and active in her psyche, unaware of by her. It influenced her conscious mental feelings, emotions, utterances, dreams and actions and came up in her neurosis and inability to have her head held, touched or grabbed. The objective of the psychoanalysis is, thus, to crush and overcome the defence mechanisms and have the sources of the neurosis/psychosis released and come up to the surface, where it is aware of by the patient and can be revealed, analysed, explained and observed freely.
The reason as for that doctrine, approach and technique lies in the fact that Freud, in his objection to the fact that some human mental aspects and human conduct would remain unexplained, obscure and incoherent to the psychoanalyst and his possession of the need to search for means of avoiding this situation and to both explain beyond doubt the reason as for the obscurity of the human conducts and utterances and turn them into explainable, lucid, comprehensive ones, maintain both that the essence of regression of information is of information being restrained and withheld from becoming conscious, by the defence mechanism where stress, grief and anguish are involved and by lack of interest and stimulation when no stress is involved, and, thus, forms a part of unconsciousness, a condition of latency that is not Perceived by the mind, and that unconscious information becomes known, while psychoanalysis, merely by being translated into consciousness (the objective of psychoanalysis), as merely conscious things are perceived and known? Thus, Freud defines the unconscious as whatever is not conscious and vice versa, whereas the preconscious is defined by him as a screen between the unconscious and consciousness and forms a part of consciousness for the sake of this specific definition. Accordingly, Freud regards all conscious information as unconscious information that became conscious.
Consequently, Freud maintains that since ‘the data of consciousness are exceedingly defective’ (Freud's, The Unconscious, 1915, found in Collective Papers IV) mental acts can often be explicated merely by assuming and referring to other processes that are outside consciousness. In other words, one is not aware of some of his mental experiences that, nevertheless, affect his actions, bodily, physical, performances (repulsive sensations, paralysis and the case illustrated above of the neurotic patient), dreams and utterances and, thus, these mental experiences are found outside his awareness/consciousness and influence those experiences of which he is aware. Therefore, the individual’s enactment to its belief and indirectly permeate the essential implements (as a process) that will carry through of a successful action and utter utterances that are obscure, unclear inexplicable and unexplainable on their own, by being observed directly by those given individuals, and need to look outside direct observation to explain them and make them utterly lucid.
The neurotic patient illustrated in the present paper has not been aware of the real reason (the sexual abuse) as for her inability to let her head be held and clenched for in spite of, has led to this mental obstacle, the neurosis. Once this awareness has been achieved by the method, described above, the patient has become cured. Hence, according to psychoanalysis, when the given patient becomes aware of her sexual abuse by her father or another adult that she had to regress as part of her defence mechanism to defend and protect her and can analyse it and discuss it freely then she is cured.
A thorough look into the procedure in which the unconscious mental information is being revealed and becomes a part of consciousness which permits the awareness of the given individual/patient is beyond the aim of the present paper and should be read in Freud's writings. Here, mentioning that the unconscious information undergoes a main is sufficient censorship, of which if it passes, it goes up to the level of the preconscious, where it is already in possession of consciousness and is being aware of by the agent, although not fully grasped and interrelated within terms of its context (if it does not pass this censorship, then to presupposing of regressions back to unconsciousness), then, some other censorship awaits to it, of which if it passes, it goes up to consciousness, where it is being directly and fully experienced, related to, sensed and comprehended by the individual. Freud provides clinical illustrations of the hysterics, neurotics’ theory.
To make sure that the reader who is a philosopher, rather than a psychologist, comprehends the relation between the unconscious and the conscious and consciousness, in The Unconscious (Freud, 1915), Freud asserts that psychoanalysis compares the perception of unconscious mental processes and experiences by consciousness with the perception of the outside, external, world through the sense-organs to obtain new knowledge from the comparison. Thus, Freud refers to Kant's work and viewed of the mind as an activity that manipulates experiences, borrows it for the sake of his argument, takes it out of context, distorts and changes it and comes up with the assertion that just as the external world is not viewed in the way it really is in nature but is subject to the viewer's subjective perception of it (Kant's account of the active mind), so are consciousness and the conscious affected by the unconscious and unconsciousness, manipulated and modified by them and are observed/treated by them.
In devising the Freudian psychoanalytic doctrine and the psychoanalytic technique of psychoanalysis, Freud has devised rigid theories (psychoanalytic theories) as for the nature and character of man and his existence that tailor and fit all individuals that constitute the basis as for the psychoanalytic treatment, i.e., psychoanalysis. He, therefore, devised his theory as for morality and personality development in both men and women which proceeds through five psychosexual stages in children and adolescents plus his theory as for the structure of personality and human interaction and moral or immoral conduct, the id, ego and superego. These theories serve as a model for the psychoanalytic treatment of all individuals who undergo psychoanalysis and are meant to be suitable for all individuals -human beings. Accordingly, the events that occurred in the life of the individual who undergoes psychoanalysis are tailored and fit into these Freudian theories. Thus, the very case of sexual abuse, which is illustrated in the present paper, is tailored and fit into the various aspects of the Electra Complex and the psychosexual stages of personality and moral development and the personality structure, any feelings of guilt and the like.
On the other hand, the existential movement has been formed and devised in the nineteenth century as a protest movement against the established spirit, mood and ambience of the mainstream of the intellectual world - notably of the philosophical domain, natural, moral and metaphysical philosophy, but also of deterministic, rigid theories and schools of thought and movements. The existential movement has protested against the destruction of both the authentic, independent, unreduced and free individual being and the personal, biased, subjective, authentic truth by the established mainstream of the intellectual world, in general, and doctrines such as the Hegelian and the Kantian doctrines, the empiricist doctrine, the positivist doctrine and the psychodynamic doctrine, in particular. Those doctrines have reduced the individual being into metaphysical theories, deterministic, innate, developmental theories, physiological and biological processes, innate releasing mechanisms, information processing devices etc., and made him fit into a single, unified and universal system of truth and reason.
Additionally, the existential movement in the nineteenth century has maintained that the concept of truth has become unreal, distant, universal, abstractive, and alienated from the individual being him. Accordingly, the concept of truth has become an idea of the manner in which the universe should be like. The individual being has had to make him fit within this kind of truth rather than lead his life following his own idea of truth and being fully committed to this idea of truth. Thus, the individual being has been swallowed by the idea of whom he should be, which has been dictated to him and forced and imposed upon him by society and deterministic elements, has lost his individuality and uniqueness and has become a part of theories as for whom he should be and why.
Hence, the existential movement objects to the endeavour to reduce the individual-human-being into sets and systems of reasons, explanations, metaphysical and scientific theories and causes and determining factors for his nature, his conduct, his mental/inner state (feelings, sensations, emotions and the like) and his mental state of being (neurosis, dementia praecox, psychosis and 'stability/sanity'). Instead, the existential movement endeavours to examine and study the individual-human-being's existence, Being-In-The-World, to comprehend it, to have the most agreeable, authentic existence, Being-In-The-World possible and to be able to actualise his personal existence in the world and, appropriately, him and his life.
As just noted, the existential movement also objects to the notion of universal, objective truth only to introduce truth as the subjective, personal entity of the individual who devises it, possesses it and lives his life and frames to specific designs and gives by some designation to his abiding accordance to it. Thus, according to the existential movement, man is an existing, -determining, issuing considerations of becoming beings who defines him by his own subjective view of truth and possesses a full responsibility as for his life and the capacity and powers to choose whatever and whomever he wishes to become and be, his values and ideologies with a view to actualise them and to lead an authentic life and existence.
In other words, man is an individual who determines, designs and realises him according to the choices, deeds and wishes that he makes, rather than a determined entity who is determined by social conformism, genetically hereditary and the environment, i.e., the past and present. Man, according to the existential movement, is, therefore, an emerging procedure toward the future and becoming being and is defined by his own past and present actions, decisions and choices and by the future outcome of these actions, decisions and choices. That is, man becomes what he is.
The forebears and the devisers of the existential movement, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, were loners who have excluded and isolated themselves from the establishment and from their fellow philosophers and savants and constantly occupied and devoted themselves by spending all their time analysing themselves and studying themselves. Kierkegaard has never had an academic, university post while Nietzsche has been forced, at the young age of thirty-five, to resign of a full professorship of philology in Basel, and, therefore, a truly brilliant academic career, due to ill health. The two brilliant savants have lived on their own financial means that freed them from the necessity of having a paid position and from being a part of the establishment and allowed their questioning and critic of the state, society and the establishment and their fellow philosophers and other savants.
Accordingly, the forebears and the devisers of the existential movement, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, devised their doctrines as personal, individualistic, -analytic accounts of their own state of being and as an attempt to solve their personal crisis and to ameliorate their feelings of severe anxiety, depression and desperation (numerous authors also claim that the two were psychotic due to syphilis) and to achieve responsibility as for their lives and realise authenticity and true and to become whoever and whatever they desired to be (authentic individuals, apart from the crowd and the establishment). Nietzsche's writings, unlike those of Kierkegaard who was a tremendous poet (Kierkegaard, in fact has regarded him as nothing other than a poet) and a writer of beautiful, well-structured, literary works, have been written in unorganised note forms, which, often, constitute beautiful, literary, verse, in small notebooks as part of spills of creativity and ingenuity and an urge to write down his personal thoughts, feelings and sensations to alleviate anxiety attacks and to feel better about him. Nonetheless, these two giant savants have written to an imaginary audience to which they wished to preach and inform their teachings as for the authentic manner in which individuals ought to live their lives. In fact, Nietzsche writes as if he were a desperate doctor who suffers the disease and carries out an analysis and diagnosis to propose his views as for a good mental health to his readers and followers with a view to ameliorate their state of being and attain authenticity and truth.
Nietzsche proclaims that ‘the levelling and diminution of European man are our greatest danger’. Nietzsche's ultimate objective is to create a powerful individual who can live a true, creative and authentic life and create, construct and reconstruct while in a nihilistic, meaningless world without dogmatic beliefs. Thus, despite an existential vacuum and the need of existential filling, he can endure a difficult, authentic, gloomy and tragic truth and actualise him, without succumbing and escaping to the more comfortable option of universal, detached and determined truth, illusive and metaphysical fantasies and consolations, which constitute constant temptations and appeals to him. By doing so he, therefore, avoided destroying him and turning him into a part of this gloomy world and nihilism and of the universal, determined truth and can realise of being that which for only of him can lead of a meaningful, authentic life.
Accordingly, for this powerful, authentic individual, this gloomy, meaningless world does not provoke the collapse of the, however, the individual manages to resist it and free his creative sources, repressed until then by determined and compelled morality, social norms and psychological, mental, disabilities. Those creative forces lead the individual to destroy the ideologies determined for him and enforced upon him and create and adopt new beliefs and ideologies for him that are, themselves, abandoned and replaced by him once they lose their usefulness for him.
Hence, according to the Nietzschean doctrine, man is, by definition, a pure, blank slate, a child like consciousness who is empty from and free of ideologies, conventions and customs. He possesses the ability to control and determine his personal existence, his fate and his life. Nevertheless, he absorbs, covers and overlays him with external, deterministic, ideologies, norms, generalisations and subordination. To become a powerful, true and authentic being who can achieve responsibility for his life, existence and him and to create and realise him the individual has to scrape, suppress, overpower and overcome his external, deterministic layers of influences (ideologies, conventions and norms) which have been forced, imposed and superimposed upon him and determine his own ideologies and morality and, then, to recreate and render the state of a blank slate for him, where he can reorganise everything afresh.
Once achieving this state of emptiness and blank slate, the individual can adopt ideologies as he pleases, rebuild and determine him and renew and reconstruct afresh the temples (morals) which have been imposed upon him. Nevertheless, he always possesses the ability to succumb to the external, determined, imposed ideologies, absorb him in them and, consequently, lose and deny him. Thus, the process of The Great Theoretical Difference Between the Psychotherapeutic, Existential Application of the Nietzschean Doctrine and Freudian Psychoanalysis.
In his writings (Essays on Aesthetics, Untimely Meditations, The Gay Science and others) Nietzsche wishes to be considered by his readers and viewed in and by history as a psychologist who practices’ psychology and has devised 'a new psychology'. Seemingly, as there are many aspects of Nietzsche's work viewed by several authors (for instance, Kaufmann and Golomb) as psychological ones, a fact disregarded by numerous authors who regard Nietzsche as a mere anti philosopher and a writer of short, beautiful verse. Surely, while being a young, frustrated, physically and mentally ill, retired professors of Philology, who has viciously attacked his colleagues, the state, society and the establishment and wrote provocative verses and notes, Nietzsche has also sought to bring the nature of his own ideologies and his own perspectives and wishes to obtain power and authenticity. What is most important, the will to power involves what Nietzsche calls surpass? Surpasses, or transcendence, is the process in which the individual can achieve control, mastery and responsibility over his own life and to fight the urge to adopt and absorb him in the social, biological, hereditary, external, deterministic ideologies, norms, morals, conventions and generalisations. That is the urge to become a part of the crowd and give up the painful, tormenting process of being the sole responsible for him and his existence and determining, adopting and setting up his own ideologies and norms by him. surpasses, therefore, involves overcoming this urge and create and determine one.
Accordingly, the more will to power the individual possesses and substantiates more control that any or all qualitative powers that are of a higher degree of power, truth and authenticity that the individual attains and realises. Similarly, the less qualitative the will to power which is possessed by the given individual the more the individual wishes to be determined, loses him, absorb him in the crowd and deny him.
Nevertheless, in talking about power 'macht' and the will to power, Nietzsche talks about negative power and positive power. The negative power is really a psychological weakness and constitutes a wish to accomplish and acquire power by committing cruel acts and demonstrating muscles while The Great Theoretical Difference Between the Psychotherapeutic, Existential Application of the Nietzschean Doctrine and Freudian Psychoanalysis
In his writings (Essays on Aesthetics, Untimely Meditations, The Gay Science and others) Nietzsche wishes to be considered by his readers and viewed in and by history as a psychologist who practices’ psychology and has devised 'a new psychology'. Many aspects of Nietzsche's work are viewed by several authors (for instance, Kaufmann and Golomb) as psychological ones, a fact disregarded by numerous authors who regard Nietzsche failles a mere anti philosopher and a writer of short, beauti verse. Although being a young, frustrated, physically and mentally ill, and its retired professor of Philology, who has viciously attacked his colleagues, the state, society and the establishment and wrote provocative verses and notes, Nietzsche has also sought to bring the nature of no sensation of hood, a lack of confidence, a possession of bad conscious and feeling of guilt, an inclination to let one be dependent upon and determined by external factors and consequences and an inclination and a wish to escape from suffering, responsibility and pain to metaphysical consolations and security at all cost. The will to power is, therefore, really a will to positive power.
Consequently, the authentic individual is one who wills to (positive) power while the inauthentic individual is an individual who possesses negative power and does not will to power. The more positive power and will to power the individual possesses the higher level of authenticity he possesses and the more negative power and the less will to power the individual possesses the higher level of inauthenticity he possesses and vice versa.
In fact, Nietzsche's philosophy should be regarded as a means to entice its followers to overcome deterministic elements, to will to power, to determine themselves, to achieve responsibility for their lives, to form and actualise their authenticity, to obtain increasing positive power and true and to direct their efforts toward their own positive power, testing their ability to reach it and activate it in their lives. The Nietzschean doctrine should, therefore, be regarded as the granting of therapies, education and intellectual temptations to the individual with a view to prepare him for assuming responsibility and mastery over his life, leading and living an authentic, creative and well worthwhile life and to free his creative resources and realise and actualise him in a nihilistic, meaningless world without dogmatic convictions.
The individual is, thus, enticed to be directed and direct him toward his positive power and powerful spiritual creative resourcefulness, to examine whether or not he can achieve them and absorb them and to obtain as much positive power, will to power and creativeness can just be as likely. Nevertheless, it is merely the individual, him, who can actualise his power, facing bravely the numerous temptations to succumb to the easy, comfortable manner of living according to the external, deterministic norms and convictions that surround him, let him be determined by them and deny him and resisting these temptations in an attempt to actualise and fulfil his existence and him. Accordingly, the Nietzschean doctrine mainly intends to entice the individual to will to power.
Hence, enticing the individual's will to power, selves surpass and authenticity and truth are the real purposes of the Nietzschean doctrine. Nietzsche employs the method of writing short notes and verses and utilises a provocative, refined, poetic, arrogant language and a manner of writing, full of daring slogans, swaggers, paradoxes, myths and scepticism to raise consent and profound emotions and feelings in his readers with a view to obtain enticement and assist him in this process of enticing his readers. This reason joins the reasons mentioned above as for the unique type of writing which Nietzsche adopts and employs.
Furthermore, the more qualitative will to power which the individual possesses the more he possesses the enticement to will to power and the wish to obtain increasing power to become ever more authentic, true, perfect and powerful being. Thus, the individual who possesses a weak will to power is likely to deny the enticement to will to power and succumb to continue with the external and, deterministic, norms and convictions determined for him and are imposed upon him and, therefore, to possess a negative power and be a weak, unactualized individual. An individual with higher degree of qualitative will to power can and is likely to be enticed to will to power and, thus, to obtain positive power, authenticity and true and to overcome the negative power. Nonetheless, the individual can also be a superman whose level of qualitative will to power is so strongly that he does not need to be enticed to will to power. As a superman, he can, therefore, create him and his ideologies and perspectives on his own without this enticement and without the need to be enticed.
Nietzsche asserts that man is distinguished from an animal in his potentiality to cultivate his nature and image (i.e., who he is, his own ). His true nature and to create his ideologies, norms and conventions as he pleases, rather than have him and his ideologies and conventions are determined, designed and created for him. This ability raises man above the other animals and permits man to overcome the inclination to deny him and be absorbed and determined and, instead, to surpass him, to realise him and to assume full control and mastery over his existence and life. Nevertheless, the vast majority of men never realised themselves but succumb to a conformism and to society and its norms and ideologies and let themselves be absorbed in them and determined by them.
Thus, according to Nietzsche, man's task and role are to surpass, overcome and transcendent those impediments that suppresses, repress and prevent the mental powers from freeing, creating and realising the (those mental powers are rooted in man). Man has to activate those mental powers in the manner described above to obtain increasing power and mastery over his life, his existence and him and, by consequence, increasing authenticity, realisation and true. If man does not do so then he is degraded to the degree of beast (monkey, as influenced by Darwinism devised and was very popular and rigorous in that of the same period). Nonetheless, if man does so then he gains more power and mastery over his life, personal existence and him and, in a world where God is dead, man becomes closer and closer to God, the creator of man, truth, ideologies, norms and the, by virtue of adopting for him God's role of creating and determining him, man, (his image and nature), his own ideologies and his own truth and morality. In fact, man's greatest ambition and possibility is to assume increasing power and perfection and to become closer and closer to the power and perfection of God.
Man, according to the Nietzschean doctrine, is, therefore, responsible for his own existence and life and is free to design, determine and create him and his ideologies freely following his own ideologies and with whom and what he desires for him to become and be. The purpose of living is, therefore, to detach the living individual from biological, social and mechanical restraints (which determine his image and nature) and take on and follow the difficult, exhaustive and tormenting road and journey of analysis and learning and knowing and changing, with a view to grow constantly, construct and create him, realising him and becoming more independent, powerful and authentic being. Hence, man is an emerging and becoming being who emerges toward the future and becomes. Man is defined and determined by his emergence toward the future and by his becoming. He is, therefore, defined and determined by his choices and actions and their outcome. He, therefore, becomes what he is. In fact, the subtitle of Nietzsche's Ecce Homo is 'How One Becomes What One Is'.
From reading the two accounts, those of Freud and Nietzsche, it is very easy to conclude that the essence of the two doctrines, about the actual psychotherapeutic treatment, is virtually similar. In both doctrines, man has to suppress and overcome a psychological, mental, boundary that has to be scraped and shattered to obtain truth, allows the individual, the neurotic/psychotic patient, to function freely and establish a grasp of the given individual, the neurotic/psychotic patient. This fact has misled readers and researchers into maintaining that the Nietzschean doctrine constitutes the theoretical core of the psychoanalytic technique (psychoanalysis), methodology and approach.
Nevertheless, while according to Freudian psychoanalysis, man is a determined entity that follows universal, successive stages of morality and personality development, which are deterministic, common to all men and according to which all men behave, act, experience, feel and live their life, and have his neurosis/psychosis and crisis induced and determined by specific past events and experiences in his life, the Nietzschean doctrine views to man as an entity that is responsible for him and for his existence in the world. The 'Nietzschean man' possesses the power and ability to choose and determine his ideologies and actions, who and what he wishes to become and be and strives to overcome all boundaries, to surpass him, and realise of him and become a powerful, authentic individual.
Hence, according to the Nietzschean doctrine, man is neither good nor evil. 'Man is beyond good and evil' asserts Nietzsche and has named one of his important works 'Beyond Good and Evil'. The ability of man to assume control and responsibility for his life and existence, to determine him, to realise him and to achieve his truth and authenticity is suppressed and prevented from doing so by both an inner, psychological compulsion (such as fearfulness) and external deterministic elements, the state, the establishment, society and the like. Nonetheless, man possesses the power and capacity to overcome and free him from these puissant constraints, surpass, transcendent and overcome him and realise his will to power, his power and him while living in a nihilistic, meaningless, world. Alternatively, he also possesses the ability to succumb to those constraints, rather than to attempt to overcome them, to absorb him in them, not to will to power but, to adopt a negative type of power and be determined and weak and inauthentic. Accordingly, the psychological, mental, elements and aspects of the Nietzschean doctrine are both ones that prevent man from realising of him and ones which lead to his will to power, goes beyond and actualization.
Freudian psychoanalysis, on the other hand, views the defence mechanism as an element that the given individual has had to assemble the constructions that prevent and suppress painful and stressful information from entering the individual's memory and consciousness to protect him from stress and suffering. The patient, with the aid and guidance of the psychoanalyst, has to overcome it, insofar as, to find the sources and determinants of his neurosis/psychosis and the feelings and emotions induced by those sources of the illness and bring them to the patient's consciousness/awareness, where they can be revealed, analysed and examined freely. The psychoanalyst endeavours to explain the individual patient according to the achievement of comprehension of what determines him, his conduct, his malaise, his illness (neurosis/psychosis) and crisis, acceding to his ideologies and morals, in agreements of the rigid and predetermined theories, as for the elements that determine the nature of man and his conduct and morality, of the psychoanalytic approach.
Accordingly, even if both the Freudian, psychoanalytic doctrine (and Freudian psychoanalysis) and the Nietzschean doctrine endeavours to overcome suppressive boundaries to both obtain truth and cure, the two constitute two different approaches that vary completely one from the differentiated designations wherefore are the essences and through its definition. Their view as for their subject matters (Man and human existence) and the nature and image of man are contradictory. To demonstrate the difference between psychoanalysis further, and the psychoanalytic doctrine, and the Nietzschean doctrine in the domain of psychotherapy and display strong, additional evidence in favour of the thesis of the present paper, the existential school, technique and approach of and to psychotherapy in the field of psychiatry Logotherapy, which has been stemmed from the Nietzschean doctrine and devised by Viktor. E. Frankl, needs to be described, depicted and illustrated. This way, the reader would be shown the practical application of the Nietzschean ideas in psychotherapy and psychiatry and be efficiently comparable and correlate with some understanding measures within the psychoanalytic method and with Freudian psychoanalysis.
While crediting Freud with new insights into human nature, Frankl felt that Freud's ideas had hardened into rigid, predetermined ideas that determine the nature of man and the analysed individual and, consequently, dehumanise and reduce man. What was needed, according to Frankl, was the understanding of the human-individual-being in his totality as a whole, unreduced, independent, free and -determining to be who emerges toward the fulfilment of a given goal, objective and task in his life and personal existence. Who defines and determines him following those objective and goal and their realisation, rather than focussing on the specific event and experience that the psychoanalysts regard as the cause, reason and determinant of the given crisis and condition and analyse and examine them. Frankl, thus, set on a career in psychiatry in which he introduced the concepts of meanings and values and their realisation into psychiatry. The essence of his doctrine is that all reality has meant (logos) and that the individual never ceases to have lived for meaning.
Logotherapy is the search for the unique meaning and purpose in one's life in an attempt to design and reveal his particular journey in life and his functional role. An undertaking to do whatever it takes to actualise and realise his meanings, potentials, potentialities and him, determines them as given to him and his experiential actions, also the identity and existential meaning and becomes somebody, a true, actualised and authentic individual being. The Greek word 'logo', in fact, denotes meaning. Thus, Logotherapy regards the individual's striving to find meaning and purpose in his life (which logotherapists call the will to meaning), and a personal identity that would make his life meaningful, fully actualised and worthwhile, as the motivational force in man and as the element that defines and determines the individual, his life and his existence.
For the need of comparison with the rival approach of Freudian psychoanalysis and as an illustration of the motivational force, the primary motivational force in the Freudian doctrine and psychoanalysis is the urge and inclination to seek satisfaction and pleasure, normally in the most brutish and primitive, basic sources of pleasure (sexual pleasure and urge, satiating hunger and thirst and sleeping). This Freudian motivational force plays a crucial role in the Freudian deterministic theory of personality and morality development, which was depicted above, as constituting the motivational force for this development of human personality and morality. For its part, Logotherapy focus man, the unconscious, the conscious, conscious, analysis, relationships with other individuals, the inner state (emotions, sensations, feelings and the like), irrational sources of man's power and greatness as adequately formidable of his morbidity and -destructiveness into the scope of existence.
Successively succeeding by such are the numerous writings that Nietzsche also gives in expressions of the mind, the mental, instincts, reflexes, reflexive movements, the brain, symbolic representations, images, views, metaphors, language, experiences, in an instinct or in merely reconciling the conflicting claims of the id, ego and superego or in the mere adaptation and adjustment to society and environment and has him determined by them. Man is, thus, free and responsible for his life and personal existence and defines, creates and determines him by his willing to meanings, purposes and values and striving to surpass him and his existence and actualise those meanings and values and, a consequent of him, his life and personal existence in the world. Nevertheless, he can always succumb to the world of willing to mere pleasure and its satiation, determinism by others, conformism, genetics and hereditary, mass crowds, industry etc., absorb in it and give up the inclination to search for meanings and values in his own existence and life and actualise them. The destructive result of such a deed is described below Man's life, according to Logotherapy, ought to be a journey of surpassing his everyday existence, situations and existence and realising the meanings and objectives that he sought, searched, found and set to him to actualise.
The process of finding meanings is one of exploring all human values for those that fit best with the given treated individual's own, unique life experiences and that he can most profitably pursue as a surge for meaning. Frankl teaches that merely through the process of education and through the acceptance of full responsibility as for his personal, individualistic and unique choices of meaning by the treated individual, the treated individual can build an integrated personality with a special life task that will give direction and sense of purpose to his own existence.
Thus, to lead a meaningful life the treated individual has to explore all of the areas of traditional values and pick up those that can supply special meaning to him and, then, surpass his existence and realise his chosen meanings. The logotherapist's role is, therefore, to guide and help the treated individually. The Great Theoretical Difference Between the Psychotherapeutic, Existential Application of the Nietzschean Doctrine and Freudian Psychoanalysis
In his writings (Essays on Aesthetics, Untimely Meditations, The Gay Science and others) Nietzsche wishes to be considered by his readers and viewed in and by history as a psychologist whom practices’ psychology, who has devised 'a new psychology'. Many phraseological aspirations consistent of Nietzsche possession have a tendency to interactivity and silence, as these feature and absorbate themselves in mere immediate, superficial pleasure seeking, in conformism and the mechanical and let their lives be determined by other individuals, their environment, their daily routine, their genes and the like. Thus, they incline to cover themselves in those things, conform, despair and have themselves (their behaviour, ideologies, beliefs etc.) determined.
The results of such procedural actions are, however, likely to be a development and emergence of feelings grounded in an existential vacuum, a feeling of existential frustration and noogenic neurosis. Existential vacuums are the experiences lacking of meaning and purpose in one's personal existence that generates a feeling of emptiness and nihilism. So then, that is to say, that Logotherapy views nihilism as an evil, destructive force that destroys and consumes man and leads to severe crisis and despair in his life and to his dehumanisation. Existential frustration, for its part, is a reaction to the failure of fulfilling to achieve meaning. As for Noogenic neurosis, it is a neurosis generated by the neurotic patient's feeling of lack of meaning in life and human existence, as a whole, and in her personal life and personal existence, in particular.
Logotherapy endeavours to allure and challenge man with a potential meaning for him to fulfil and to urge him to struggle hard for some goals worthy of him to actualise and achieve and, thus, to evoke his will to meaning from its state of latency and actualise his will to meaning and actualising. Logotherapy, therefore, strives to guide and assist the individual patient in overcoming the inclination to be absorbed and determined. Logotherapy attempts to make the patient aware of the hidden 'logos' of her existence, actualising the potential meanings of her existence. Logotherapy aspires to assist the patient in filling the existential vacuum, searching for meanings, finding them, surpassing her existence and her, actualising those meanings and realising her and recreating her according to those meanings.
The result of Logotherapy is the scraping of the inclination to be determined and the filling of the existence with a cause, finding the reason as for one's personal existence in the world and recreating and realising the patient's existence. Hence, Logotherapy wishes to make the treated individual aware of what he actually aspires for the intensity of his endurable coercion for him fully to be aware of the task of his life and of his personal existence. In fact, cases treated using Logotherapy has demonstrated that enticing the treated individual and making him aware of his assignments and tasks in his life and personal existence, should assist in ameliorating his ability to overcome and alleviate his neurosis, crisis and malaise.
The symptoms are accepted, for the time being, as they are and are looked beyond them (transcendent them). The individual 'dereflects' (a term that Frankl has given to mention) attention from the immediate powerful situation to unimpaired assets and potentials that can be utilised in spite of the symptoms. Hence, Logotherapy endeavours to teach the individual to cope and deal with his malaise and painful situation, transcend and pass them and find meaning in his suffering by finding a potential for a good thing in all painful events and suffering (since nothing can be done to alleviate and alter them, in which case, where the painful events can be modified and improved, it is a mere sadistic act) and, thus, employ his suffering for the sake of a good element and for the sake of actualisation. In fact, Logotherapy, it, has been tested, devised and refined by Frankl as a method for treating individuals' suffering and for combatting dehumanisation and reductionism during the three years that he spent as an inmate in four different Nazi concentration camps and, thus, constitutes the meaning and the positive (good) element in Frankl's enormous suffering. Some clinical illustrations are called for to depict Logotherapy and its doctrine in practice and to display the great differences between psychoanalysis and Logotherapy.
Frankl tells of an American diplomat in Austria who has visited him in Vienna. The diplomat was discontented with his career and found it difficult to comply with American foreign diplomacy. Consequently, he experienced a sensation of void and emptiness and felt depressed and miserable. He has undergone psychoanalytic treatment for five years but his condition and state of being have merely gone worse. His psychoanalyst told him to reconcile with his father as it was obvious to the psychoanalyst that the powerful, authoritative American government has really symbolised and was nothing other than the father of the diplomat who tried to dominate his son and take charge over him and his life. Hence, the psychoanalytic approaches have asserted and concluded that the reason, cause and determinant of the diplomat's difficulties in complying with American foreign diplomacy and his depression and state of being ware, in effect, his relationship with his father, his fear of his father and his desire to rebel against his father. This stands on the same line as the Freudian rigid personality and moral development of the Oedipus complex.
Nevertheless, Frankl has taken the diplomat and his situation throughout and concludes by that the diplomat's lack of satisfaction and interest in his job and career and his inability to find meaning and purpose in them that have led to his state of being and depression. He, therefore, proposed to the diplomat to quit his career in foreign diplomacy and search for a career that would be more meaningful and purposeful to him and his personal existence and would enable him to actualise the (and his) meaning and purpose in his personal existence, his life and him. Of course, the diplomat has complied, changed his career to a more meaningful one to him that fulfilled his interests and intellectual objectives, actualised his personal existence and him and has been totally cured of his crisis and malaise.
As another illustration, Frankl recounts of a rabbi who came to see him, suffering from severe depression. His first wife and six sons have been murdered in concentration camps and his second wife has been barren. He was, therefore, extremely concerned of not having any sons to say 'Kadish' following his passing away. Frankl has guided him and assisted him to surpass and transcendent his situation and to try to search for meanings and purposes in his great suffering and in his personal existence and life to be able to actualise him and his life and existence and to cope with his great grief and malaise and to live and lead a decent, meaningful life. They concluded that the great suffering that the rabbi experienced would enable him to attain the highest place in heaven, which is normally reserved merely to martyrs and infants, and, thus, the sole manner to join his six young sons who perished as martyrs. The rabbi has found meaning in his suffering and his depression has been alleviated.
Once the rabbi has surpassed his existence and his situation, to find meanings in them and actualise them, he has actualised his life and existence, fills in his noogenic and empty feelings. His will to meaning and purpose, to actualise him, to cope with his malaise and with his life and existence and to feel much better A Freudian psychoanalyst would have worked away at exposing, examining and analysing the problem, the rabbi's relationship with his parents, his childhood, the sensations that the deaths of his dear ones have elicited in him, his feelings toward his second wife and their relationship etc., in an attempt to cure the depression and to be able to cope with his grief. This would take numerous years, would be extremely costly and, thus, make the psychoanalyst wealthier (and of interest to delay the psychotherapeutic treatment) and would lead to the worsening of the rabbi's depression.
This leads back to the neurotic patient who is unable to have her head be touched, rather than opening the patient's wounds and focussing on and working away at the revelation, examination and analysis of the traumatic event and the dreadful experience of sexual child abuse, with a view to work away at the examination carefully and the analysis freely of what the psychoanalyst considers as the reason, cause and determinant of the neurosis, as it is compatible with the psychoanalytic rigid and predetermined theories (but can very easily is induced by other factors, which are part of the individualistic life and existence of the treated, analysed patient), the logotherapist would have guided and advised the patient not to confine her in the past and constantly analyse her trauma but to go on living and Experiencing. In fact, the patient would be advised to try to surpass and transcendent both her traumatic experience of sexual abuse and her inability to have her head touched and seek for meanings and purposes and will to meanings and purposes in her life and her personal existence and in her trauma, suffering and crisis. Still, hardly, the trauma would be ignored or not treated seriously. The trauma, would slightly decrease and not enjoy the full attention of the logotherapeutic sessions, which would be devoted to the patient's ability to live a meaningful and rewarding life. The trauma would simply fit in this endeavour, to make the patient able to lead a meaningful life and existence.
The sexual abuse is, thus, viewed as an event that happened in the past. It must be accepted as an event that occurred already and cannot be erased, reversed and altered. It should be treated as if nothing could be done about changing it. There is no point in spending the entire psychotherapeutic sessions in discussing it, focussing on it and working away at analysing it as an event in the past, only the logotherapeutic sessions should intend to plan and devise the present and future of the patient's life and existence (the emergence and becoming of the patient), search for and find meanings and purposes in her life and personal existence and try to actualise them and, as a consequent, her commitment holds steadily from the debits owing her personal existence and life. The traumatic experience has to fit with (and in) this objective and with the patient's overall task in life and be employed to actualise her meaning and purpose in life and personal existence and be beneficial and have a meaning and construct of the same purposive unity as held within it, the traumatic sexual abuse and in the patient's life. Again, the overall objective and the reason for existing of logotherapy and the logotherapeutic sessions are to have the patient's living a meaningful, pleasant, actualised and authentic life.
A clinical illustration for the danger in searching for the correlation between a given past event and the given neurosis/psychosis and in asserting that it was this event that has induced the condition of the patient, Elisabeth Lukas reports of two sisters whom she has encountered in treating their mother of severe despair and depression. The mother has recounted that the older sister has been an unwanted child who has been severely sexually abused by her father throughout her childhood and has been ill-treated and mentally and physically abused by her entire family and has not been loved by her mother. The other, younger, child, on the other hand, has been a desired child and loved and well-taken care of and treated by her family. She has had an excellent, normal, warm, fatherly relationship with her father and was adored by her mother.
It was, nevertheless, the older, abused and an unwanted sister who has led a perfectly normal life. She has been perfectly healthy, both mentally and physically. She was kind, well mannered and easy to get along with, she also takes favour of her married, having children and has been a superb mother and wife. She has had a job and a rewarding career that she enjoyed and has lived a happy, meaningful and actualised life. Overall, she has been an active, valuable member of society and a happy individual being. Her younger sister, the desired and loved one, on the other hand, have developed severe psychotic/neurotic symptoms and have experienced severe numerous mental and physical problems. She has had sexual problems, has been lonely and could not develop and have relationships whatsoever with other individuals and with men. She has lied regularly, was rude and very hard to get along with. She broke the law countlessly and spent time in prison. Overall, she appeared to suffer from an existential vacuum, a feeling of existential frustration and noogenic neurosis.
The mother, who could not understand how this situation was feasible, has become severely depressed. The mother needed to be explained by the logotherapist (Dr. Lukas) that a person is determined by her search for meanings (will to meaning) in life, human existence and her life and personal existence and by the surpassing of her existence and the actualising of those meanings, rather than being automatically determined by given, specific events in her life.
Those clinical cases show that Logotherapy endeavours to overcome and suppress the inclination not to will to meaning, to surpass the patient's existence and to realise the patient's will to meanings and purposes in her life and her personal existence. Values that are to be actualised of finding them and set her to the fulfilment of the task of actualising them and, as a consequent, she of for whatever else she expends her life and existence, with the overall view to lead a happy, meaningful life. The supposition of Logotherapy is that in finding meanings and purposes in the neurosis, in terminologies extended by the meanings in the patient's personal existence and life would assist in alleviating it.
According to Logotherapy, the 'Freudian' defence mechanism that prevents the patient from having a direct access to his painful experience also prevents the exposure to an event that cannot be altered and reversed but, generate severe pain and suffering. Wherefore, ignoring the painful experience is a wrong thing to do, devoting the entire psychotherapeutic sessions to overcoming and suppressing the defence mechanism and exposing the trauma and, therefore, regressing to and remaining in the past, merely for the sake of revealing and analysing the trauma, is likely to lead to the opening of closed wounds and force them of an exaction in bleeding in and of additional spite. The Great Theoretical Difference Between the Psychotherapeutic, Existential Application of the Nietzschean Doctrine and Freudian Psychoanalysis
In his writings (Essays on Aesthetics, Untimely Meditations, The Gay Science and others) Nietzsche wishes to be considered by his readers and viewed in and by history as a psychologist who practices’ psychology and has devised 'a new psychology'. Again, there are many aspects of Nietzsche's work are viewed by several authors (for instance, Kaufmann and Golomb) as psychological ones, a fact disregarded by numerous authors who regard Nietzsche as a mere anti philosopher and a writer of short, beautiful verse. While being of my youth, frustrated, physically and mentally ill, and the retired professor of Philology, who has viciously attacked his colleagues, the state, society and the establishment and wrote provocative verses and notes, Nietzsche has also sought to bring the nature of man, the unconscious, the conscious, conscious, analysis, relationships with other individuals, the inner state (emotions, sensations, feelings and the like), irrational sources of man's power and greatness and his morbidity and -destructiveness into the scope of existence.
Further, in his numerous writings Nietzsche also talks of the mind, the mental, instincts, reflexes, reflexive movements, the brain, symbolic representations, images, views, metaphors, language, experiences, innate and hereditary psychological elements, defence, protective, mechanism, repression, suppression, overcoming, an overall battle, struggle and conflict between individuals etc. As an illustration, Nietzsche describes how blocked instinctual powers turn within the individual into resentment, -hatred, hostility and aggression. Moreover, Nietzsche strives to analyse human being, his crisis, his despair and his existence in the world and to find means to alleviate human crises and despair.
These aspects of Nietzsche's work elicit a tendency to compare Nietzsche's doctrine with that of Freud and psychoanalysis and to argue that the Freudian doctrine and school (the psychoanalytic theory of human personality on which the psychotherapeutic technique of psychoanalysis is based). Methods of treatment (psychoanalysis) have been influenced and affected by Nietzsche's philosophy and work and the Nietzschean doctrine. As a demonstration from the relevant literature, according to Golomb's (1987) thesis, the theoretical core of psychoanalysis is already part and parcel of Nietzsche's philosophy, insofar as it is based on concepts that are both displayed in it and developed by it - concepts such as the unconscious, repression, sublimation, the id, the superego, primary and secondary processes and interpretations of dreams.
Nevertheless, the actual situation in the domains of psychotherapy, psychiatry and clinical psychology is, not, strictly so. While the two savants (Nietzsche and Freud) endeavour to understand man, to develop the healthy power that is still present in the individual and the neurotic patient to overcome and suppress the psychological boundaries that repress his vitality and inhibit his ability to function freely and creatively and attain truth, the difference between the psychodynamic school, approach, movement and method of treatment, in general, and psychoanalysis, in particular, and the existential approach to psychotherapy, the existential movement and the existential, humanistic school of psychology and method of treatment stemmed from the doctrines and views of Freud and Nietzsche is profound and significant, for the actual psychotherapeutic treatment. The reason posited in this difference, lies in the variation in the two savants' view and definition of man and human existence, the nature and character of man and his relationship with the world and the environment, and in the variation in the intellectual soil, that the tasks, roles, endeavours, relationships and encounters and actualising set and determined (by the individual patient her) objectives and tasks make the old event a matter of the past and the life of the patient too full, excited and actualised to analyse and experience the problem and cause of the neurosis/psychosis and, therefore, influence and alleviate the psychosis/neurosis. Frankl and Lukas recount and provide numerous clinical illustrations to demonstrate this point.
The present paper has shown that the Nietzschean doctrine may be regarded as a personality theory and, as such, may be employed as the foundations for the devising of a psychotherapeutic approach. The Nietzschean doctrine defines man as a being who is fully responsible for his life and personal existence and possesses mastery over his fate, life and existence and his conduct, his nature, identity and image. As such, he possesses the power to determine, create and organise his ideologies, values and morals and, therefore, him, who and what he is. Nevertheless, the individual has to suppress and overcome the psychological inclination to have his ideologies and values be determined for him. Then, he has to realise the power to determine him to gain as much power as possible and become a powerful, individual being.
To demonstrate the applicability of the Nietzschean doctrine in psychiatry and psychotherapy, Frankl's existential approach of Logotherapy was displayed, briefly outlined, described and illustrated. Logotherapy guides the treated patient in overcoming the inclination to conform and be determined and help her seek and realise meanings and purposes throughout her life and personal existence with a view to create, actualise and determine her, to lead a meaningful life and existence and to become whoever and whatever she wishes to become and be.
Hence, in Logotherapy, the treated individual must assume power, responsibility and mastery over his own life and personal existence and create and design his life and existence and, because, him following his own set values and purposes. Once the individual has found the reasons, meanings and purposes to living and in all aspects of his life and personal existence (the painful ones and the happy ones) he can lead a more meaningful life and put up with almost any living conditions. In fact, Frankl put to use in Logotherapy two famous quotes from Nietzsche - ‘whatever does not kill me makes me stronger’ and ‘Man can have the how if he has the why’. Thus, according to Logotherapy, the individual's entire state of being and mental and physical conditions are likely to be ameliorated, alleviated and sometimes even cured once he has established meanings and purposes into, to and in the human existence, as a whole, and his own life and personal existence, in particular, and can lead a meaningful, purposeful and actualised life.
Once establishing that the Nietzschean doctrine has many psychological aspects and elements in it and, therefore, possesses the ability and the potentiality to provide the core and essence of a psychotherapeutic approach in psychiatry and clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, which is the most popular and known psychotherapeutic approach (in as well as outside the relevant fields of psychiatry and psychology), immediately comes up to one's mind. In fact, the present paper was commenced by stating the similarity in terms of the terminology and the concepts that are employed in both the Nietzschean doctrine and the Freudian, psychoanalytic, doctrine and psychoanalysis. Moreover, the present paper has described the inclination to compare the Freudian doctrine with the Nietzschean doctrine and the Nietzschean doctrine to the psychoanalytic method and approach of psychotherapeutic treatment (i.e., psychoanalysis). The present paper has even gone as far as quoting Golomb's clear and bold assertion that the Nietzschean doctrine, in fact, constitutes not less than the theoretical core of Freudian psychoanalysis. In fact, the present paper has set it the task of examining this assertion by professor Jacob Golomb.
Nevertheless, it was the present paper's primary objective to refute this assertion and to show that the Nietzschean doctrine does not constitute the theoretical core of psychoanalysis. Both the theoretical, conceptual, and the practical, applied psychotherapeutic, differences between the Freudian doctrine and its method of psychotherapeutic treatment (Psychoanalysis) and the Nietzschean doctrine was displayed, outlined, illustrated and depicted in the present paper in some length. On the other hand, the present paper has demonstrated that the Nietzschean doctrine constitutes the theoretical core and essence of the existential approach to psychotherapy, which, in fact, constitutes the most vicious rival to psychoanalysis.
Throughout the existential approach of Logotherapy is depicted as a rival approach to psychoanalysis in the same field as psychoanalysis (that is psychiatry and clinical psychology) it is described as the one that really employs the Nietzschean doctrine as its true theoretical core and essence and as its foundation. Even, ignoring it is not feasible and skips on the similarities in and between the 'will to power' and its realisation and the 'will to meaning' and its actualisation, the ambition to surpass and overcome all that prevents and suppresses the will to power/meaning and the individual existence, the idea of free will, the notion of full responsibility for and mastery over one's life and the idea of the freedom to determine its creative. Those last three concepts constitute key concepts in the Nietzschean doctrine, the existential movement and Logotherapy. The existential movement was described in the present paper and Nietzsche was shown to have been the forebear and deviser of the existential movement, together with Soren, Aabye Kierkegaard.
The Freudian, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic doctrines, for their part, regard human personality, morality, ideologies, feelings, emotions and conduct as deterministic ones that are either innate or determined by events and other types of stimuli. The Freudian doctrine, therefore, maintains that the best manner to alleviate human crisis and despair (both neurosis and psychosis) is to search and find the reasons, causes and determinants for them. The psychoanalytic method of treatment is, therefore, really a technique of searching and finding and analysing and examining thoroughly and freely the events, experiences and stimuli that it assumes to be the causes and determinants of the neurosis/psychosis.
The process of searching and finding significant stimuli and events in the individual patient's life and of analysing the individual patient's life and existence freely applies the shuttering and overpowering of a defence mechanism that represses those events and stimuli from being revealed and aware of by the given analysed individual who has undergone them and regressed them to his subconscious. This process, therefore, strives to make the stimuli and events, which are assumed to be the cause, reason and determinant of the neurosis/psychosis, come up to the analysed neurotic/psychotic patient's consciousness and become fully aware of by the analysed neurotic/psychotic patient and, thus, revealed and analysed freely and thoroughly by both the patient and the psychoanalyst.
Overcoming the defence mechanisms and fully revealing the reasons and causes as for the neurosis/psychosis and exposing them to the patient's consciousness enable their analysing freely and without any restraint. Once the patient is fully aware of the event and stimulus that have generated his illness, crises and despair and those events and stimulus is analysed and examined thoroughly and freely the neurosis/psychosis is cured.
Hence, the tendency to assert that the Nietzschean doctrine influences the Freudian, psychoanalytic doctrine and approach and the Freudian method of psychoanalysis and that the Nietzschean doctrine constitutes the theoretical essence and core of Freudian psychoanalysis is erroneous and misleading. The Nietzschean doctrine, on the other hand, is the theoretical basis and core of the existential movement, existential, humanistic psychology and the existential approach to psychotherapy. Specifically, the Nietzschean doctrine constitutes the foundations of Logotherapy, also known as existential analysis.
The two movements, schools and approaches are rival ones and so are Logotherapy and Psychoanalysis. While there are some similarities in their shared ambition to alleviate man's crises and despair, in the terminology that they employ and in their shared endeavour to suppress and overpower the psychological boundaries that repress the individual patient from attaining truth and true and to free truth and the true, the notion of what is man, an individual being, the, the true, actualisation and the like, which constitute key issues in theories of personality and which define human personality, vary immensely and cannot differ more, in terms of their treatment and definition by the two movements and approaches.
In fact, other movements and schools such as Cognitive Psychology and Artificial Intelligence also employ concepts such as the, consciousness, unconsciousness, memory, recall, morality, revelation, human nature, personality and character. Nevertheless, attempting to compare them with psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic movement would be an absurd task. Their view and definition of those concepts vary immensely from the definition of those concepts by Psychoanalysis and their application and employment of those concepts differs greatly from the utilisation of those concepts by psychoanalysis, although Cognitive Psychology has created cognitive psychotherapy and talks about the recall and storage of information by and in the mind and the access and revelation of information - that is the representational model of Cognitive Psychology and the cognitive revolution and movement, which dominates cognitive psychology. A gathering frame of reference is vastly contained in Searle's book called “The Rediscovery of the Mind” (1992) and, perhaps, to obtain as such would involve the furthering discussions of the conscious and consciousness, the unconscious and unconsciousness and preconsciousness and the preconscious in both Freudian psychoanalysis and cognitive psychology.
It is, thus, the overall designing, devising and depiction of the approach, doctrine and theory, and of what they endeavour to do and achieve - their definition of their main subject matter (Man and his existence in the world, his personality, nature, image and character) and of key concepts; By means of combining the key concepts by them; Their manner of applying those definitions in practice - which make up a given doctrine, approach and method of treatment and applicability and enable the comparison of the particular doctrine (approach) with other doctrines, approaches and methods of applicability and treatment of a similar type. Comparing selected aspects, components and elements of two or more doctrines and approaches may lead to the omission of important features and constituents that, in fact, vary and are contrasted significantly in the two doctrines and approaches and, therefore, to the adoption of the erroneous conclusion that the doctrines and approaches are similar and comparable when they are, in fact, totally different and contrasted. The Nietzschean/Freudian case to which the present paper was devoted and dedicated has, thus, shown how careful one should be so as not to be misled in comparing two doctrines, theories and approaches and claiming that one doctrine, theory and approach affect and influences another doctrine, theory and approach and constitutes its theoretical core.
Hence, having clearly shown that the Nietzschean doctrine does not constitute the theoretical core of psychoanalysis and, thus, fulfilling its main objective and defending its main thesis, the most important conclusion of the present paper is that it is a very easy task to search and find similarities between two doctrines and conclude that one doctrine influence and affects the other and constitutes its theoretical core. Searching for similarities would normally lead to their finding (after all terminology and language are limited and are bound to be the same in using similar domains and endeavours), or, when necessary, inventing, devising and manipulating them artificially, that is, scholastics. Studying it is, therefore, essential and examine the two doctrines, theories and approaches very thoroughly in their entirety - their ideas, aims, terminology, reason for existing, points de depart, historical and philosophical roots and the like - establish a full grasp of them and merely then to examine any possible relationships and theoretical similarities between them. If this is not carried out then inaccurate assertions, the thesis and conclusions are likely to occur.
Throughout history ‘humanism’ has been associated with ‘atheism’, since it arose as a reaction against certain forms of theism that were seen as anti-human. Yet some kinds of humanism do not concentrate on a struggle against deity and there are ‘religious humanists’, a great deal of modern religion claim to be humanistic. In order, however, we shall use the two terms ‘humanism’ and ‘atheism’, in close association, in order to bring out the differences between the humanisms, especially Marxist humanism, and the ethics of Christianity.
In the absence in the belief in Immortality, unending existence of the soul after physical death. The doctrine of immortality is common to many religions; in different cultures, however, it takes various forms, ranging from ultimate extinction of the soul to its final survival and the resurrection of the body. In Hinduism, the ultimate personal goal is considered absorption into the “universal spirit.” Buddhist doctrine promises nirvana, the state of complete bliss achieved through total extinction of the personality. In the religion of ancient Egypt, entrance to immortal life was dependent on the results of divine examination of the merits of an individual's life. Early Greek religion promised a shadowy continuation of life on earth in an underground region known as Hades. In Christianity and Islam, as well as in Judaism, the immortality promised is primarily of the spirit. The former two religions both differ from Judaism in holding that after the resurrection of the body and a general judgment of the entire human race, the body is to be reunited with the spirit to experience either reward or punishment. In Jewish eschatology, the resurrection of the soul will take place at the advent of the Messiah, although the reunion of body and spirit will endure only for the messianic age, when the spirit will return to heaven.
Ethical goals must be determined by secular (nonreligious) aims and concerns, human beings must take full responsibility for their destiny, and death marks the end of a person’s existence. As of 1994 there were an estimated 240 million atheists around the world comprising slightly more than 4 percent of the world’s population, including those who profess atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion. The estimate of nonbelievers increases significantly, to about 21 percent of the world’s population, if negative atheists are included.
From ancient times, people have at times used atheism as a term of abuse for religious positions they opposed. The first Christians were called atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman deities. Over time, several misunderstandings of atheism have arisen: that atheists are immoral, that morality cannot be justified without belief in God, and that life has no purpose without belief in God. Yet there is no evidence that atheists are any less moral than believers. Many systems of morality have been developed that do not presuppose the existence of a supernatural being. Moreover, the purpose of human life may be based on secular goals, such as the betterment of humankind.
In Western society the term atheism has been used more narrowly to refer to the denial of theism, in particular Judeo-Christian theism, which asserts the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good personal being. This being created the universe, took an active interest in human concerns, and guides his creatures through divine disclosure known as revelation. Positive atheists reject this theistic God and the associated beliefs in an afterlife, a cosmic destiny, a supernatural origin of the universe, an immortal soul, the revealed nature of the Bible and the Qur'an (Koran), and a religious foundation for morality.
Theism, however, is not a characteristic of all religions. Some religions reject theism but are not entirely atheistic. Although the theistic tradition is fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, earlier Hindu writings known as the Upanishads teach that Brahman (ultimate reality) is impersonal. Positive atheists reject even the pantheistic aspects of Hinduism that equate God with the universe. Several other Eastern religions, including Theravada Buddhism and Jainism, are commonly believed to be atheistic, but this interpretation is not strictly correct. These religions do reject a theistic God believed to have created the universe, but they accept numerous lesser gods. At most, such religions are atheistic in the narrow sense of rejecting theism.
One of the most controversial works of 19th-century philosophy, Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885), Nietzsche’s theory of the Übermensch, a term translated as “Superman” or “Overman.” The Superman was an individual who overcame what Nietzsche termed the “slave morality” of traditional values, and lived according to his own morality. Nietzsche also advanced his idea that “God is dead,” or that traditional morality was no longer relevant in people’s lives. In this passage, the sage Zarathustra came down from the mountain where he had spent the last ten years alone to preach to the people.
In the Western intellectual world, nonbelief in the existence of God is a widespread phenomenon with a long and distinguished history. Philosophers of the ancient world such as Lucretius were nonbelievers. Even in the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century) there were currents of thought that questioned theist assumptions, including skepticism, the doctrine that true knowledge is impossible, and naturalism, the belief that only natural forces control the world. Several leading thinkers of the Enlightenment (1700-1789) were professed atheists, including Danish writer Baron Holbach and French encyclopedist Denis Diderot. Expressions of nonbelief also are found in classics of Western literature, including the writings of English poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron; English novelist Thomas Hardy; French philosophers Voltaire and Jean-Paul Sartre; Russian author Ivan Turgenev; and American writers Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair. In the 19th century the most articulate and best-known atheists and critics of religion were German philosophers Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche. British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and Sartre are among the 20th century’s most influential atheists.
Nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was an influential critic of religious systems, especially Christianity, which he felt chained society to a herd morality. By declaring that “God is dead,” Nietzsche signified that traditional religious belief in God no longer played a central role in human experience. Nietzsche believed we would have to find secular justifications for morality to avoid nihilism--the absence of all belief.
Atheists justify their philosophical position in several different ways. Negative atheists attempt to establish their position by refuting typical theist arguments for the existence of God, such as the argument from first cause, the argument from design, the ontological argument, and the argument from religious experience. Other negative atheists assert that any statement about God is meaningless, because attributes such as all-knowing and all-powerful cannot be comprehended by the human mind. Positive atheists, on the other hand, defend their position by arguing that the concept of God is inconsistent. They question, for example, whether a God who is all-knowing can also be all-good and how a God who lacks bodily existence can be all-knowing.
Some positive atheists have maintained that the existence of evil makes the existence of God improbable. In particular, atheists assert that theism does not provide an adequate explanation for the existence of seemingly gratuitous evil, such as the suffering of innocent children. Theists commonly defend the existence of evil by claiming that God desires that human beings have the freedom to choose between good and evil, or that the purpose of evil is to build human character, such as the ability to persevere. Positive atheists counter that justifications for evil in terms of human free will leave unexplained why, for example, children suffer because of genetic diseases or abuse from adults. Arguments that God allows pain and suffering to build human character fail, in turn, to explain why there was suffering among animals before human beings evolved and why human character could not be developed with less suffering than occurs in the world. For atheists, a better explanation for the presence of evil in the world is that God does not exist.
In Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (first published in 1748 under a different title), Scottish philosopher David Hume offers several criticisms of religious belief, including an argument against belief in miracles. According to Hume, testimony about the occurrence of miracles should be subjected to rational standards of evidence.
Atheists have also criticized historical evidence used to support belief in the major theistic religions. For example, atheists have argued that a lack of evidence casts doubt on important doctrines of Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because such events are said to represent miracles, atheists assert that extremely strong evidence is necessary to support their occurrence. According to atheists, the available evidence to support these alleged miracles - from Biblical, pagan, and Jewish sources - is weak, and therefore such claims should be rejected.
Atheism is primarily a reaction to, or a rejection of, religious belief, and thus does not determine other philosophical beliefs. Atheism has sometimes been associated with the philosophical ideas of materialism, which holds that only matter exists; communism, which asserts that religion impedes human progress; and rationalism, which emphasizes analytic reasoning over other sources of knowledge. However, there is no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. Some atheists have opposed communism and some have rejected materialism. Although nearly all contemporary materialists are atheists, the ancient Greek materialist Epicurus believed the gods were made of matter in the form of atoms. Rationalists such as French philosopher René Descartes have believed in God, whereas atheists such as Sartre are not considered to be rationalists. Atheism has also been associated with systems of thought that reject authority, such as anarchism, a political theory opposed to all forms of government, and existentialism, a philosophic movement that emphasizes absolute human freedom of choice; there is however no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. British analytic philosopher A.J. Ayer was an atheist who opposed existentialism, while Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was an existentialist who accepted God. Marx was an atheist who rejected anarchism while Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, a Christian, embraced anarchism. Because atheism in a strict sense is merely a negation, it does not provide a comprehensive world-view. It is therefore not possible to presume other philosophical positions to be outgrowths of atheism
Materialism, in philosophy, doctrine that all existence is resolvable into matter or into an attribute or effect of matter. According to this doctrine, matter is the ultimate reality, and the phenomenon of consciousness is explained by physicochemical changes in the nervous system. Materialism is thus the antithesis of idealism, in which the supremacy of mind is affirmed and matter is characterized as an aspect or objectification of mind. Extreme or absolute materialism is known as materialistic monism. According to the mind-stuff theory of monism, as expounded by the British metaphysician W. K. Clifford, in his Elements of Dynamic (1879-87), matter and mind are consubstantial, each being merely an aspect of the other. Philosophical materialism is ancient and has had numerous formulations. The early Greek philosophers subscribed to a variant of materialism known as hylozoism, according to which matter and life are identical. Related to hylozoism is the doctrine of hylotheism, in which matter is held to be divine, or the existence of God is disavowed apart from matter. Cosmological materialism is a term used to characterize a materialistic interpretation of the universe.
Antireligious materialism is motivated by a spirit of hostility toward the theological dogmas of organized religion, particularly those of Christianity. Notable among the exponents of antireligious materialism were the 18th-century French philosophers Denis Diderot, Paul Henri d'Holbach, and Julian Offroy de La Mettrie. According to historical materialism, as set forth in the writings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Ilich Lenin, in every historical epoch the prevailing economic system by which the necessities of life are produced determines the form of societal organization and the political, religious, ethical, intellectual, and artistic history of the epoch.
In modern times philosophical materialism has been largely influenced by the doctrine of evolution and may indeed be said to have been assimilated in the wider theory of evolution. Supporters of the theory of evolution go beyond the mere antithesis or atheism of materialism and seek positively to show how the diversities and differences in creation are the result of natural as opposed to supernatural processes.
Agnosticism, doctrine that the existence of God and other spiritual beings is neither certain nor impossible. The term, derived from agnostikos (Greek for “not knowing”), was introduced into English in the 19th century by the British biologist Thomas Henry Huxley. The agnostic position is distinct from both theism, which affirms the existence of such beings, and atheism, which denies their existence.
Although usually regarded as a form of skepticism, agnosticism is more limited in scope, for it denies the reliability only of metaphysical and theological beliefs rather than of all beliefs. The basis of modern agnosticism lies in the works of the British philosopher David Hume and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, both of whom pointed out logical fallacies in the traditional arguments for the existence of God and of the soul.
Broadly speaking, theism is the belief in any god or gods. However in its typical philosophical and theological usage, theism is a form of monotheism, the belief in only one God. In contrast to theism, pantheism is the view that God is identical with the world or is completely immanent, pervading everything that exists in the world. Deism is the belief that God created the world but then had no further connection with it. Theism should also be contrasted with atheism and agnosticism, both of which have several variations. In the broadest sense, positive atheism is a disbelief in all gods including the theistic God, whereas negative atheism is simply the absence of belief in any god. Negative atheism is compatible with agnosticism, the denial that a person can know either that God exists or does not exist. Some agnostics draw the conclusion that one should suspend one’s belief, a view known as agnostic atheism. Other agnostics choose to believe in a theistic God on the basis of faith, a view known as agnostic theism.
From ancient times, people have at times used atheism as a term of abuse for religious positions they opposed. The first Christians were called atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman deities. Over time, several misunderstandings of atheism have arisen: that atheists are immoral, that morality cannot be justified without belief in God, and that life has no purpose without belief in God. Yet there is no evidence that atheists are any less moral than believers. Many systems of morality have been developed that do not presuppose the existence of a supernatural being. Moreover, the purpose of human life may be based on secular goals, such as the betterment of humankind.
In Western society the term atheism has been used more narrowly to refer to the denial of theism, in particular Judeo-Christian theism, which asserts the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good personal being. This being created the universe, took an active interest in human concerns, and guides his creatures through divine disclosure known as revelation. Positive atheists reject this theistic God and the associated beliefs in an afterlife, a cosmic destiny, a supernatural origin of the universe, an immortal soul, the revealed nature of the Bible and the Qur'an (Koran), and a religious foundation for morality.
Theism, however, is not a characteristic of all religions. Some religions reject theism but are not entirely atheistic. Although the theistic tradition is fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, earlier Hindu writings known as the Upanishads teach that Brahman (ultimate reality) is impersonal. Positive atheists reject even the pantheistic aspects of Hinduism that equate God with the universe. Several other Eastern religions, including Theravada Buddhism and Jainism, are commonly believed to be atheistic, but this interpretation is not strictly correct. These religions do reject a theistic God believed to have created the universe, but they accept numerous lesser gods. At most, such religions are atheistic in the narrow sense of rejecting theism.
In the Western intellectual world, nonbelief in the existence of God is a widespread phenomenon with a long and distinguished history. Philosophers of the ancient world such as Lucretius were nonbelievers. Even in the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century) there were currents of thought that questioned theist assumptions, including skepticism, the doctrine that true knowledge is impossible, and naturalism, the belief that only natural forces control the world. Several leading thinkers of the Enlightenment (1700-1789) were professed atheists, including Danish writer Baron Holbach and French encyclopedist Denis Diderot. Expressions of nonbelief also are found in classics of Western literature, including the writings of English poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron; English novelist Thomas Hardy; French philosophers Voltaire and Jean-Paul Sartre; Russian author Ivan Turgenev; and American writers Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair. In the 19th century the most articulate and best-known atheists and critics of religion were German philosophers Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche. British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and Sartre are among the 20th century’s most influential atheists.
Nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was an influential critic of religious systems, especially Christianity, which he felt chained society to a herd morality. By declaring that “God is dead,” Nietzsche signified that traditional religious belief in God no longer played a central role in human experience. Nietzsche believed we would have to find secular justifications for morality to avoid nihilism--the absence of all belief.
Atheists justify their philosophical position in several different ways. Negative atheists attempt to establish their position by refuting typical theist arguments for the existence of God, such as the argument from first cause, the argument from design, the ontological argument, and the argument from religious experience. Other negative atheists assert that any statement about God is meaningless, because attributes such as all-knowing and all-powerful cannot be comprehended by the human mind. Positive atheists, on the other hand, defend their position by arguing that the concept of God is inconsistent. They question, for example, whether a God who is all-knowing can also be all-good and how a God who lacks bodily existence can be all-knowing.
Some positive atheists have maintained that the existence of evil makes the existence of God improbable. In particular, atheists assert that theism does not provide an adequate explanation for the existence of seemingly gratuitous evil, such as the suffering of innocent children. Theists commonly defend the existence of evil by claiming that God desires that human beings have the freedom to choose between good and evil, or that the purpose of evil is to build human character, such as the ability to persevere. Positive atheists counter that justifications for evil in terms of human free will leave unexplained why, for example, children suffer because of genetic diseases or abuse from adults. Arguments that God allows pain and suffering to build human character fail, in turn, to explain why there was suffering among animals before human beings evolved and why human character could not be developed with less suffering than occurs in the world. For atheists, a better explanation for the presence of evil in the world is that God does not exist.
In Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (first published in 1748 under a different title), Scottish philosopher David Hume offers several criticisms of religious belief, including an argument against belief in miracles. According to Hume, testimony about the occurrence of miracles should be subjected to rational standards of evidence.
Atheists have also criticized historical evidence used to support belief in the major theistic religions. For example, atheists have argued that a lack of evidence casts doubt on important doctrines of Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because such events are said to represent miracles, atheists assert that extremely strong evidence is necessary to support their occurrence. According to atheists, the available evidence to support these alleged miracles - from Biblical, pagan, and Jewish sources - is weak, and therefore such claims should be rejected.
Atheism is primarily a reaction to, or a rejection of, religious belief, and thus does not determine other philosophical beliefs. Atheism has sometimes been associated with the philosophical ideas of materialism, which holds that only matter exists; communism, which asserts that religion impedes human progress; and rationalism, which emphasizes analytic reasoning over other sources of knowledge. However, there is no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. Some atheists have opposed communism and some have rejected materialism. Although nearly all contemporary materialists are atheists, the ancient Greek materialist Epicurus believed the gods were made of matter in the form of atoms. Rationalists such as French philosopher René Descartes have believed in God, whereas atheists such as Sartre are not considered to be rationalists. Atheism has also been associated with systems of thought that reject authority, such as anarchism, a political theory opposed to all forms of government, and existentialism, a philosophic movement that emphasizes absolute human freedom of choice; there is however no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. British analytic philosopher A. J. Ayer was an atheist who opposed existentialism, while Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was an existentialist who accepted God. Marx was an atheist who rejected anarchism while Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, a Christian, embraced anarchism. Because atheism in a strict sense is merely a negation, it does not provide a comprehensive worldview. It is therefore not possible to presume other philosophical positions to be outgrowths of atheism.
From ancient times, people have at times used atheism as a term of abuse for religious positions they opposed. The first Christians were called atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman deities. Over time, several misunderstandings of atheism have arisen: that atheists are immoral, that morality cannot be justified without belief in God, and that life has no purpose without belief in God. Yet there is no evidence that atheists are any less moral than believers. Many systems of morality have been developed that do not presuppose the existence of a supernatural being. Moreover, the purpose of human life may be based on secular goals, such as the betterment of humankind.
In Western society the term atheism has been used more narrowly to refer to the denial of theism, in particular Judeo-Christian theism, which asserts the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good personal being. This being created the universe, took an active interest in human concerns, and guides his creatures through divine disclosure known as revelation. Positive atheists reject this theistic God and the associated beliefs in an afterlife, a cosmic destiny, a supernatural origin of the universe, an immortal soul, the revealed nature of the Bible and the Qur'an (Koran), and a religious foundation for morality.
Theism, however, is not a characteristic of all religions. Some religions reject theism but are not entirely atheistic. Although the theistic tradition is fully developed in the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, earlier Hindu writings known as the Upanishads teach that Brahman (ultimate reality) is impersonal. Positive atheists reject even the pantheistic aspects of Hinduism that equate God with the universe. Several other Eastern religions, including Theravada Buddhism and Jainism, are commonly believed to be atheistic, but this interpretation is not strictly correct. These religions do reject a theistic God believed to have created the universe, but they accept numerous lesser gods. At most, such religions are atheistic in the narrow sense of rejecting theism. that sustains by itself the most controversial works of 19th-century philosophy, Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885) articulated
In the Western intellectual world, nonbelief in the existence of God is a widespread phenomenon with a long and distinguished history. Philosophers of the ancient world such as Lucretius were nonbelievers. Even in the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century) there were currents of thought that questioned theist assumptions, including skepticism, the doctrine that true knowledge is impossible, and naturalism, the belief that only natural forces control the world. Several leading thinkers of the Enlightenment (1700-1789) were professed atheists, including Danish writer Baron Holbach and French encyclopedist Denis Diderot. Expressions of nonbelief also are found in classics of Western literature, including the writings of English poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron; English novelist Thomas Hardy; French philosophers Voltaire and Jean-Paul Sartre; Russian author Ivan Turgenev; and American writers Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair. In the 19th century the most articulate and best-known atheists and critics of religion were German philosophers Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche. British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and Sartre are among the 20th century’s most influential atheists.
Atheists justify their philosophical position in several different ways. Negative atheists attempt to establish their position by refuting typical theist arguments for the existence of God, such as the argument from first cause, the argument from design, the ontological argument, and the argument from religious experience. Other negative atheists assert that any statement about God is meaningless, because attributes such as all-knowing and all-powerful cannot be comprehended by the human mind. Positive atheists, on the other hand, defend their position by arguing that the concept of God is inconsistent. They question, for example, whether a God who is all-knowing can also be all-good and how a God who lacks bodily existence can be all-knowing.
Arguments that God allows pain and suffering to build human character fail, in turn, to explain why there was suffering among animals before human beings evolved and why human character could not be developed with less suffering than occurs in the world. For atheists, a better explanation for the presence of evil in the world is that God does not exist. Published in 1748 under a different title, Scottish philosopher David Hume offers several criticisms of religious belief, including an argument against belief in miracles. According to Hume, testimony about the occurrence of miracles should be subjected to rational standards of evidence.
Atheists have also criticized historical evidence used to support belief in the major theistic religions. For example, atheists have argued that a lack of evidence casts doubt on important doctrines of Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because such events are said to represent miracles, atheists assert that extremely strong evidence is necessary to support their occurrence. According to atheists, the available evidence to support these alleged miracles - from Biblical, pagan, and Jewish sources - is weak, and therefore such claims should be rejected.
Atheism is primarily a reaction to, or a rejection of, religious belief, and thus does not determine other philosophical beliefs. Atheism has sometimes been associated with the philosophical ideas of materialism, which holds that only matter exists; communism, which asserts that religion impedes human progress; and rationalism, which emphasizes analytic reasoning over other sources of knowledge. However, there is no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. Some atheists have opposed communism and some have rejected materialism. Although nearly all contemporary materialists are atheists, the ancient Greek materialist Epicurus believed the gods were made of matter in the form of atoms. Rationalists such as French philosopher René Descartes have believed in God, whereas atheists such as Sartre are not considered to be rationalists. Atheism has also been associated with systems of thought that reject authority, such as anarchism, a political theory opposed to all forms of government, and existentialism, a philosophic movement that emphasizes absolute human freedom of choice; there is however no necessary connection between atheism and these positions. British analytic philosopher A.J. Ayer was an atheist who opposed existentialism, while Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was an existentialist who accepted God. Marx was an atheist who rejected anarchism while Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, a Christian, embraced anarchism. Because atheism in a strict sense is merely a negation, it does not provide a comprehensive worldview. It is therefore not possible to presume other philosophical positions to be outgrowths of atheism.
Faith is an attitude of the entire self, including both will and intellect, directed toward a person, an idea, or - as in the case of religious faith - a divine being. Modern theologians agree in emphasizing this total existential character of faith, thus distinguishing it from the popular conception of faith that identifies it with belief as opposed to knowledge. Faith indeed includes belief but goes far beyond it, and in the history of theology the distinction has more often been drawn between faith and works than between faith and knowledge. This distinction was powerfully expressed by the apostle Paul, who argued that the sinful human being cannot achieve salvation through good works, but only through faith in the free grace of God. In this view, forcefully revived by Martin Luther at the time of the Reformation, good works are consequences of faith. The faithful relation to God enables the believer to transcend limitations and bring forth good works.
The Book of Hebrews, which some scholars speculate was written for Jewish converts to Christianity in the 1st century, encouraged Christians to maintain their faith despite the possibility of persecution under Roman authorities. This excerpt, the eleventh chapter of the epistle, lists great heroes from the Old Testament, as well as Jesus himself, who because of their faith and devotion to God did not fear death. This passage is from the King James Version of the Bible.
The most evocative description of faith in the New Testament is found in Hebrews 11:1, where faith is heralded as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Here, the word for faith is the Greek pistis, which denotes the act of giving one's trust. The New Testament conception of faith involves an amplification and an alteration of the older, Hebrew idea of faith as that quality of stability and trust that informs the living relationship between two beings. For the New Testament writers, faith has found its centre in the believer's relationship to Jesus Christ. But the New Testament idea of faith goes beyond that of the Hebrew scriptures in its addition of the concept of “belief in” or “belief that.” Hence, Christian theology has traditionally distinguished between the “subjective” element in faith, which involves the supernatural action of God upon the human soul, and faith's “objective” component, which is characterized as adherence to a body of truth found in creeds, in definitions of church councils, and especially in the Bible.
During the Middle Ages, Roman Catholic theologians distinguished two kinds of separate but ultimately compatible religious truths: those that are accessible to unaided human reason, such as belief in the existence of God; and those that require faith in order to be grasped, such as belief in the resurrection of the dead. Historically, the Roman Catholic church has defined faith as the complete acceptance of doctrine and of the absolute authority of God in what he reveals or promises to reveal.
Not all Christians have believed that the demands of faith are compatible with those of reason. Many early Christians, including St. Paul and the 2nd-century theologian Tertullian, insisted that faith resembles folly to the eye that has not been opened by the grace of God. In a similar vein, the 19th-century Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard felt that a chasm separates human reason from faith, and that the would-be believer must make a “leap of faith” across this abyss in order to find salvation. In general, modern Protestant theologians have emphasized, as Kierkegaard did, the subjective or individualistic aspect of faith and have concentrated on the risk and moral effort involved in attempting to lead the life of faith, rather than on the acceptance of creeds as an expression of faith
In polytheism, there are many holy beings, each manifesting some particular divine attribute or caring for some particular aspect of nature or of human affairs. Polytheism was the most common form of religion in the ancient world and was well developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and elsewhere. It tends, however, to develop into a form of religion that has a unitary conception of the divine, either through philosophical criticism or through one of the deities in the polytheistic pantheon (assemblage of gods) acquiring an overwhelming superiority over the others. The gods of a pantheon were usually conceived in some family relationship, which ensured from the beginning a sense of their unity. Polytheism probably developed out of a more primitive form of religion (still practised in many parts of the world) called animism, the belief in a multitude of spiritual forces, localized and limited in their powers, some friendly and some hostile. In animism the sense of Holy Being is diffused throughout the environment.
Although conceptions of God have varied considerably by historical period, culture, and sect, a belief in Holy Being in some sense has been predominant in almost all societies throughout history. This belief has been challenged, however, since ancient times by the philosophical doctrines of skepticism, materialism, atheism, and other forms of disbelief. The proportion of unbelievers is higher in modern societies than in most societies of the past.
Arguments against belief in God are as numerous as arguments for it. Atheists absolutely deny the existence of God. Some, for instance, believe the material universe constitutes ultimate reality; others argue that the prevalence of suffering and evil in the world precludes the existence of a sacred being. Agnostics believe that the evidence for and against the existence of God is inconclusive; they therefore suspend judgment. Positivists believe that rational inquiry is restricted to questions of empirical fact, so that it is meaningless to either affirm or deny the existence of God. American psychologist and philosopher William James helped to popularize the philosophy of pragmatism with his book Pragmatism: A New Name for Old Ways of Thinking (1907). Influenced by a theory of meaning and verification developed for scientific hypotheses by American philosopher C. S. Peirce, James held that truth is what works, or has good experimental results. In a related theory, James argued the existence of God is partly verifiable because many people derive benefits from believing.
If, as Paul Tillich argues, God is the ground or source of being and not simply another being, even the highest or supreme being, then he does not exist in the sense in which things exist within the world. It may even be misleading to say, “God exists,” although this is the traditional way of speaking. To believe in God is to have faith in the ultimate ground of being, or to trust in the ultimate rationality and righteousness of the whole scheme of things. This way of expressing the matter also leaves open the questions of transcendence and immanence, personal being and impersonal being, and so on. The primary basis for belief in God is to be found in experience, especially religious experience. There are many experiences in which people have become aware of Holy Being manifesting itself in their lives - mystical experiences, conversion, a sense of presence, sometimes visions and verbal communications - which may come with the force of a revelation. Besides specifically religious experiences, there are others in which people become aware of a depth or an ultimacy that they call God - moral experiences, interpersonal relations, the sense of beauty, the search for truth, the awareness of finitude, even confrontation with suffering and death. These are sometimes called limit situations (a term used by the 20th-century German philosopher Karl Jaspers), because those who undergo such experiences seem to strike against the limits of their own being. In so doing, however, they become aware of a being that transcends their own, yet with which they sense both difference and affinity. They become aware of what 20th-century German Protestant theologian Rudolf Otto, in a classic description, called Mysterium tremendum et fascinans, the mystery that at once produces both awe and fascination.
During the 13th century, Saint Thomas Aquinas sought to reconcile the empirical philosophy of Aristotle with the mystical theology of Saint Augustine. Aquinas wrote that reason and faith are fully compatible with one another and that furthermore, God can be known through both methods. While Aquinas himself accepted the existence of God on faith, he offered five rational arguments to support this belief.
To many people experiencing the Holy Being are self-authenticating, and they feel no need to inquire further. All human experience, however, is fallible. Mistakes of perception are everyday experiences, and false conceptions of the natural world, the earth, the heavenly bodies, and so forth have prevailed for thousands of years. It is therefore possible that the experience of Holy Being is illusory, and this possibility has led some believers to look for a rational basis for belief in God that will confirm the experiential basis. Numerous attempts have been made to prove the reality of God. Medieval Scholastic theologian Saint Anselm argued that the very idea of a being than which nothing greater or more perfect can be conceived entails his existence, for existence is itself an aspect of perfection. Many philosophers have denied the logical validity of such a transition from idea to factual existence, but this ontological argument is still discussed. Thirteenth-century theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas rejected the ontological argument but proposed five other proofs of God's existence that are still officially accepted by the Roman Catholic church: (1) The fact of change requires an agent of change; (2) the chain of causation needs to be grounded in a first cause that is itself uncaused; (3) the contingent facts of the world (facts that might not have been as they are) presuppose a necessary being; (4) one can observe a gradation of things as higher and lower, and this points to a perfect reality at the top of the hierarchy and (5) the order and design of nature demand as their source a being possessing the highest wisdom. Eighteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant rejected Aquinas's arguments but argued the necessity of God's existence as the support or guarantor of the moral life. These arguments for the reality of God have all been submitted to repeated and searching criticism, and they continue to be reformulated to meet the criticisms. It is now generally agreed that none of them constitutes a proof, but many believers would say that the arguments have a cumulative force, which, although still short of proof, amounts to a strong probability, especially in conjuction with the evidence of religious experience. Ultimately, however, belief in God is, like many other important beliefs, an act of faith - one that must be rooted in personal experience.
The self-communication of God; that is, God's disclosure of divine being or divine will to human beings. Most of the major world religions affirm revelation in some sense as a basis for their doctrines and practices. Revelation may be in the form of a vision, often accompanied by words, or may consist only of words. In the Old Testament, Moses saw a burning bush and heard God's voice proceeding from it. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, heard a noise like a bell that resolved itself into words. As recounted in the Hindu epic the Bhagavad-Gita, Prince Arjuna saw his charioteer Krishna transformed into his true form as a divine being. Historical events may also be understood as revelation - for instance, the exodus of Israel from Egypt, or the life of Jesus Christ. General revelation refers to the knowledge of God communicated through the order of nature, a conception that is found in Eastern religion and in some romantic poetry, such as that of the English poet William Wordsworth. Special revelation refers to the knowledge of God that comes through specific experiences, such as visions, dreams, or events. The two kinds of revelation may be complementary. Christianity and Islam both teach that the natural order is revelatory of God, but their emphasis is on the special revelations communicated by their founders. In Judaism too the special revelations given to Moses and the prophets, which are described in the Bible, are fundamental to the faith. In all revelation, the primary element is the encounter with the divine, which it is the task of religious doctrine and of religious tradition to interpret and convey.
Heaven, in religion, place where God, gods, or other spiritual beings dwell, and the place or condition of perfect supernatural happiness for the redeemed in the afterlife.
In simple societies the concept of life after death was substantially that of a shadowy continuation of life on earth. Even in that concept, however, the principle of the necessity for vindication of divine justice was manifested. This principle is illustrated in the distinction between Elysium (a place of reward for the virtuous dead) and Tartarus (a place of damnation where the wicked were punished) in the Greek and Roman religions and in the various depths of Sheol (abode of the dead) of the Jewish Scriptures. Later Jewish mystics regarded the heavens as contained in the seven spheres of the firmament, and they found in the Persian doctrine of resurrection a hope of release from Sheol to a new life on earth or in the heavens.
Aristotle declared that all (polytheistic) religions united in placing the abode of the gods in the most elevated place in the universe. Such regions were, in classical times, considered as closed to ordinary mortals. The Islands of the Blessed, sometimes identified with Elysium, were reached only by heroes, demigods, and favourites of the gods. The heaven of later polytheistic religions was conceived of as a place where mortals might continue the pleasures of earthly life, as in the Valhalla of the Germans and Scandinavians and the happy hunting ground of the Native North Americans.
The general belief of Christians is that, since the resurrection of Christ, the souls of the just who are free from sin are admitted immediately after death into heaven, where their chief joy consists in an unclouded vision of God known as the beatific vision. Their bliss is eternal, but at the general resurrection their souls are to be reunited to their perfected, or glorified, bodies. Some Christians believe that, before entering heaven, souls first pass through a state of purification called purgatory.
Islam, in the Qur'an (Koran), adopts the concept of the seven heavens of the firmament, differing in degrees of glory from the seventh, the abode of the Most High, downward to the first, or most earthly, paradise. Although the Qur'an portrays the happiness of heaven as the unrestricted and inexhaustible partaking of the joys of physical sense, many writers consider this portrayal to be purely allegorical.
Nirvana, the heaven of Buddhism, is a state of extinction of all desire and of union with Brahma, the creator god, achieved by perfecting the soul in the course of its successive transmigrations. Literally, “discourse about the last things,” is the doctrine concerning life after death and the final stage of the world. The origin of this doctrine is almost as old as humanity; archaeological evidence of customs in the Old Stone Age indicates a rudimentary concept of immortality. Even in early stages of religious development, speculation about things to come is not wholly limited to the fate of the individual. Such devastating natural phenomena as floods, conflagrations, cyclones, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions have always suggested the possibility of the end of the world. Higher forms of eschatological thought are the product of a complex social organism and an increased knowledge of natural science. Often myths of astrological origin, the concept of retribution, or the hope of deliverance from present oppressions provided the material or motive for highly-developed eschatologies. Prolonged observation of planetary and solar movement made possible the conception of a recurrence, at the end of the present cycle, of the events connected with the origin of the world and a renovation of the world after its destruction.
The development of eschatological speculation, therefore, generally reflects the growth of human intellectual and moral perceptions, the larger social experience of men and women, and their expanding knowledge of nature. The outward forms of the doctrine of eschatology vary, however, according to the characteristics of the environment and of the peoples.
Belief in a life of the spirit, a substance inhabiting the dead body as long as food and drink are furnished, is typical of primitive eschatology. The concept of the future life grew richer as civilization advanced and cosmic forces became objects of worship associated with departed spirits. The belief in judgment after death was introduced when standards of right and wrong were established according to particular tribal customs; the spirits themselves were made subject to the laws of retribution. Through this twofold development the future life was thus made spiritual and assumed a moral character, as in the eschatology of ancient Egypt. In Persia and Israel, the old conception of a shadowy existence in the grave, or in some subterranean realm, in general retained its hold. Escape from such an existence, however, into larger life, with the possibility of moral distinctions among individuals, was provided by the conception of a restoration and reanimation of the old body, thus ensuring personal identity. In other cultures, as in India, the spirit was conceived as entering immediately upon death into another body, to live again and die and become reincarnated in new forms. This concept of transmigration, or metempsychosis, made possible the introduction into the future life of subtle moral distinctions, involving not only punishments and rewards for conduct in a previous stage of existence but also the possibility of rising or falling in the scale of being according to present conduct. In spite of the seemingly perfect justice thus administered on every level of being, the never-ending series of births and deaths of the individual may come to appear as an evil; in which case deliverance may be sought from the infinite wheel of existence in Nirvana. The ancient Greeks arrived at their eschatology by considering the functions of the mind as a purely spiritual essence, independent of the body, and having no beginning or end; this abstract concept of immortality led to the anticipation of a more concrete personal life after death.
The ideas held throughout history concerning the future of the world and of humanity are only imperfectly known today. The belief in a coming destruction of the world by fire or flood is found among groups in the Pacific islands as well as among American aborigines; this belief probably did not originate in astronomical speculation, but was rather engendered by some terrifying earthly experience of the past. The ancient Persians, who adopted the doctrines of their religious teacher Zoroaster, developed the basic idea of the coming destruction of the world by fire into the concept of a great moral ordeal. According to this belief, at the end of the world the worshippers of the lord Mazda will be distinguished from all other people by successfully enduring the ordeal of molten metal, and the good will then be rewarded. This concept is found in the Gathas, the earliest part of the Avesta, the bible of Zoroastrianism. It is not certain that the idea of a resurrection from death goes back to the period represented by the Gathas. But the Greek historian Herodotus seems to have heard of such a Persian belief in the 5th century Bc, and Theopompus of Chios, the historian of Philip II, king of Macedon, described it as a Mazdayasnian doctrine.
Similarities can be seen between the ancient Greek concepts of heaven and hell and those of Christian doctrine. The Homeric poems and those of Hesiod show how the Greek mind conceived of the future of the soul in Elysium or in Hades. Through the Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries this thought was deepened. That the future of nations and the world also played an important role in Greek and Roman thought is evident from the prophecies of the Sibyls. An eschatological philosophy dominated the epoch ushered in by the conquests of Alexander the Great, and Greco-Roman thought became suffused with Oriental ideas in its speculation upon the future of the world. In a similar manner the Scandinavian idea of the destruction of the earth by fire and its subsequent renovation under higher heavens - to be peopled by the descendants of the surviving pair, Life and Life’s thrustor (as set forth in the Elder Edda) - reflects an early Nordic interpretation of the idea of hell and heaven.
In early Israel the “Day of Yahweh” was a coming day of battle that would decide the fate of the people. Although the people looked forward to it as a day of victory, prophets such as Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah feared that it would bring near or complete destruction, associating it with the growing military threat from Assyria. To Jeremiah, this forecast of judgment was the criterion of true prophethood. Later, the books containing their pronouncements were interpolated with prophecies of prosperity, which themselves constituted significant signs of the expansion of eschatological hopes. The Book of Daniel voices the hope that the kingdom of the world will be given to the saints of the Most High, the Jewish people. A celestial representative, probably the archangel Michael, is promised, who, after the destruction of the beast representing the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Middle East, will come with the clouds and receive the empire of the world. No messiah appears in this apocalypse. The first distinct appearance of this deliverer and king is in the Song of Solomon.
After the conquest of Palestine by the Roman general Pompey the Great in 63 Bc, the Jews longed for a descendant of the line of David, king of Israel and Judah, who would break the Roman yoke, establish the empire of the Jews, and rule as a righteous king over the subject nations. This desire ultimately led to the rebellion in Ad 66-70, which brought about the destruction of Jerusalem. When Jesus Christ proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of heaven, it was natural, therefore, that despite his Immortality, unending existence of the soul after physical death. The doctrine of immortality is common to many religions; in different cultures, however, it takes various forms, ranging from ultimate extinction of the soul to its final survival and the resurrection of the body. In Hinduism, the ultimate personal goal is considered absorption into the “universal spirit.” Buddhist doctrine promises nirvana, the state of complete bliss achieved through total extinction of the personality. In the religion of ancient Egypt, entrance to immortal life was dependent on the results of divine examination of the merits of an individual's life. Early Greek religion promised a shadowy continuation of life on earth in an underground region known as Hades. In Christianity and Islam, as well as in Judaism, the immortality promised is primarily of the spirit. The former two religions both differ from Judaism in holding that after the resurrection of the body and a general judgment of the entire human race, the body is to be reunited with the spirit to experience either reward or punishment. In Jewish eschatology, the resurrection of the soul will take place at the advent of the Messiah, although the reunion of body and spirit will endure only for the messianic age, when the spirit will return to heaven.
Jews. His disciples were convinced that he would return as the Messiah upon the clouds of heaven. It is unlikely, however, that the final judgment and the raising of the dead were ever conceived by an adherent of the Jewish faith as functions of the Messiah.
In Christian doctrine, eschatology has traditionally included the second advent of Christ, or Parousia, the resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, the immortality of the soul, concepts of heaven and hell, and the consummation of the kingdom of God. In the Roman Catholic church, eschatology includes, additionally, the beatific vision, purgatory, and limbo.
Although the great creeds of Christendom affirm the belief in a return to the son of God to judge the living and the dead, and in a resurrection of the just and the unjust, Christianity through the centuries has shown wide variation in its interpretation of eschatology. Conservative belief has usually emphasized a person's destiny after death and the way in which belief in the future life affects one's attitude toward life on earth. Occasionally certain sects have predicted the imminent end of the world.
Islam adopted from Judaism and Christianity the doctrine of a coming judgment, a resurrection of the dead, and everlasting punishments and rewards. Later, contact with Persian thought greatly enriched Islamic eschatology. Especially important was the belief in the reincarnation of some great prophet from the past. Time and again the world of Islam has been stirred by the expectation of Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, to reveal more fully the truth, or to lead the faithful into better social conditions on earth. Iran and Africa have had many such movements.
Liberal Christian thought has emphasized the soul and the kingdom of God, more often seeing it as coming on earth in each individual (evidenced by what was believed to be the steady upward progress of humankind) than as an apocalyptic event at the end of time. Twentieth-century theological thought has tended to repudiate what many scholars have felt to be an identification of Christian eschatology with the values of Western civilization. In the second half of the 20th century, eschatology was equated by some theologians with the doctrine of Christian hope, including not only the events of the end of time but also the hope itself and its revolutionizing influence on life in the world. The most eloquent exponent of this eschatology is the German theologian Jürgen Moltmann.
In modern Judaism the return of Israel to its land, the coming of the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead, and everlasting retribution are still expected by the Orthodox, but the more liberal base the religious mission of Israel upon the regeneration of the human race and upon hope for immortal life independent of the resurrection of the body.
As. too, the doctrine that the existence of God and other spiritual beings is neither certain nor impossible. The term, derived from agnostikos (Greek for “not knowing”), was introduced into English in the 19th century by the British biologist Thomas Henry Huxley. The agnostic position is distinct from both theism, which affirms the existence of such beings, and atheism, which denies their existence.
Although usually regarded as a form of skepticism, agnosticism is more limited in scope, for it denies the reliability only of metaphysical and theological beliefs than of all beliefs. The basis of modern agnosticism lies in the works of the British philosopher David Hume and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, both of whom pointed out logical fallacies in the traditional arguments for the existence of God
Finally, immortality, deems of an unending existence of the soul after physical death. The doctrine of immortality is common to many religions; in different cultures, however, it takes various forms, ranging from ultimate extinction of the soul to its final survival and the resurrection of the body. In Hinduism, the ultimate personal goal is considered absorption into the “universal spirit.” Buddhist doctrine promises nirvana, the state of complete bliss achieved through total extinction of the personality. In the religion of ancient Egypt, entrance to immortal life was dependent on the results of divine examination of the merits of an individual's life. Early Greek religion promised a shadowy continuation of life on earth in an underground region known as Hades. Judaism in holding that after the resurrection of the body and a general judgment of the entire human race, the body is to be reunited with the spirit to experience either reward or punishment. In Jewish eschatology, the resurrection of the soul will take place at the advent of the Messiah, although the reunion of body and spirit will endure only for the messianic age, when the spirit will return to heaven.
Humanism, in philosophy, lends itself of the attitude that emphasizes the dignity and worth of the individual. A basic premise of humanism is that people are rational beings who possess within themselves the capacity for truth and goodness. The term humanism is most often used to describe a literary and cultural movement that spread through western Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. This Renaissance revival of Greek and Roman studies emphasized the value of the classics for their own sake, rather than for their relevance to Christianity.
The humanist movement started in Italy, where the late medieval Italian writers Dante, Giovanni Boccaccio, and Francesco Petrarch contributed greatly to the discovery and preservation of classical works. Humanist ideals were forcefully expressed by another Italian scholar, Pico della Mirandola, in his Oration on the dignity of man. The movement was further stimulated by the influx of Byzantine scholars who came to Italy after the fall of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) to the Ottomans in 1453 and also by the establishment of the Platonic Academy in Florence. The academy, whose leading thinker was Marsilio Ficino, was founded by the 15th-century Florentine statesman and patron of the arts Cosimo de' Medici. The institution sought to revive Platonism and had particular influence on the literature, painting, and architecture of the times.
The collection and translation of classical manuscripts became widespread, especially among the higher clergy and nobility. The invention of printing with movable type, around the mid-15th century, gave a further impetus to humanism through the dissemination of editions of the classics. Although in Italy humanism developed principally in the fields of literature and art, in central Europe, where it was introduced chiefly by the German scholars Johann Reuchlin and Melanchthon, the movement extended into the fields of theology and education, and was a major underlying cause of the Reformation.
One of the most influential scholars in the development of humanism in France was the Dutch cleric Desiderius Erasmus, who also played an important part in introducing the movement into England. There humanism was definitely established at the University of Oxford by the English classical scholars William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre, and at the University of Cambridge by Erasmus and the English prelate John Fisher. From the universities it spread throughout English society and paved the way for the great flourishing of Elizabethan literature. However, this humanism is directed against all claims for objective universals, both political and religious. As a method of radical empiricism and a doctrine of radical individualism, it denies all gods as ruling principles and all authorities as principal rulers. It replaces patriarchy by fellowship, kinship by merit, theoretical premises and deduction by sense data, experiment, and induction, faith by critical reason, and duty by individual happiness. This sprightliness of the ‘modern’ mind of the past four-hundred years bears sufficiently the affiliations in reserve for science’s ‘passionate interest in the detailed facts and by the rise of naturalism in art in the late middle ages. This particularist and empirical spirit have frequently been combined in various ways with a conviction in the ultimate Order or Creator of Nature, as in the early scientists Kepler and Newton, the philosophers St. Thomas and Occam, and especially the Protestant religious thinkers ranging from Luther to Anabaptists and Deists like Jefferson. However, the general drift of modern thought in the West has been anti-supernaturalistic, empirical, individualistic, and humanistic. In accumulating of these that we are in finding the illustrations for which the dominant schools of contemporary secular philosophy in the West: Realism, positivism, analysis, phenomenology, and existentialism.
Grounded of strict empiricism, this kind of humanism appears to arise in those periods when the old centres of social power are shifting and the corresponding ruling ideologies are called into question. Not disposed to return to orthodoxy and not yet prepared to create a new ideology for a social order still to be born, intelligent and educated men are thrown back upon the immediate evidence of their senses and upon the impulses of their own bodies. Reality, value, and knowledge are to be found in or by the individual human being considered in contrast to the authoritative God of the past; the rebellion of the Titans against their rulers is repeated. The life of value and divine aspiration and fulfilment is attributed to the individual man who alone is God. Thus, the Greek atomists, in a way similar to the Charvakas in India, pictured a cosmos composed of an infinite number of individual atoms moving unhindered through empty space. In this view, the order of society and of the universe can only be a function of their individual inherent properties. The reasonable person becomes correspondingly as similar of a god once he or she understands this order. Modern empirical humanism does not always affirm the order, as it does affirm the actual or potential divinity of the individual man.
Western humanistic criticism, however, has been associated with another tradition of thought, namely, that which has stressed descriptive generalization, integrative reason, first principles, universals, ideals, communal and organic forces and values, and duty rather than individual happiness. This tradition, too, has associated with some principle of reason its acknowledgement of the existence and importance of the divine. From a traditional religious, that is, strictly supernaturalistic, point of view, it has been antireligious and humanistic, for it leaves no place for faith and identifies the divine with the transcendent principle of reason to which man has access. Some Greek speculative philosophers such as Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, and the Stoics, and some Renaissance and Enlightenment rationalists such as Bruno and Hegel fall into this group. The rich development of natural law philosophy is to be found here, branching out successively in Catholic theology through St. Thomas, in democratic theory through Jefferson, who combined it with Lockean libertarianism, and in Marxism where it was fused with materialism and dialectics. Pope John XXII's Pacem in Terris beautifully illustrates how natural law thought provides a matrix for the meeting, communing, and mutual ordering of diverse viewpoints and systems.
Stress is an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. The word stress means different things to different people. Some people define stress as events or situations that cause them to feel tension, pressure, or negative emotions such as and anger. Others view stress as the response to these situations. This response includes physiological changes - such as increased heart rate and muscle tension-as well as emotional and behavioural changes. However, most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a person’s interpretation and response to a threatening event.
Stress is a common experience. We may feel stress when we are very busy, have important deadlines to meet, or have too little time to finish all of our tasks. Often people experience stress because of problems at work or in social relationships, such as a poor evaluation by a supervisor or an argument with a friend. Some people may be particularly vulnerable to stress in situations involving the threat of failure or personal humiliation. Others have extreme fears of objects or things associated with physical threats - such as snakes, illness, storms, or flying in an aeroplane-and become stressed when they encounter or think about these perceived threats. Major life events, such as the death of a loved one, can cause severe stress.
Stress can have both positive and negative effects. Stress is a normal, adaptive reaction to threat. It signals danger and prepares us to take defensive action. Fear of things that pose realistic threats motivates us to deal with them or avoid them. Stress also motivates us to achieve and fuels creativity. Although stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks, moderate stress seems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks. In personal relationships, stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression.
If not managed appropriately, stress can lead to serious problems. Exposure to chronic stress can contribute to both physical illnesses, such as heart disease, and mental illnesses, such as disorders. The field of health psychology focuses in part on how stress affects bodily functioning and on how people can use stress management techniques to prevent or minimize disease.
The circumstances that cause stress are called stressors. Stressors vary in severity and duration. For example, the responsibility of caring for a sick parent may be an ongoing source of major stress, whereas getting stuck in a traffic jam may cause mild, short-term stress. Some events, such as the death of a loved one, are stressful for everyone. But in other situations, individuals may respond differently to the same event-what is a stressor for one person may not be stressful for another. For example, a student who is unprepared for a chemistry test and anticipates a bad grade may feel stress, whereas a classmate who studies in advance may feel confident of a good grade. For an event or situation to be a stressor for a particular individual, the person must appraise the situation as threatening and lack the coping resources to deal with it effectively.
Stressors can be classified into three general categories: catastrophic events, major life changes, and daily hassles. In addition, simply thinking about unpleasant past events or anticipating unpleasant future events can cause stress for many people.
A veteran of the Vietnam War (1959-1975) mourns the death of friends killed in the war during a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Many Vietnam veterans, particularly those involved in combat, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of this disorder may include extreme, disturbing flashbacks and nightmares, emotional numbness, and irritability.
Life-threatening disasters, such as earthquakes, cause severe stress and can take a heavy psychological toll on their victims. Buildings in Mexico City destroyed by a September 1985 earthquake. The quake left almost 30,000 people homeless and 7000 dead.
A catastrophe is a sudden, often life-threatening calamity or disaster that pushes people to the outer limits of their coping capability. Catastrophes include natural disasters-such as earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and hurricanes-as well as wars, torture, automobile accidents, violent physical attacks, and sexual assaults. Catastrophes often continue to affect their victims’ mental health long after the event has ended. For example, in 1972 a dam burst and flooded the West Virginia mining town of Buffalo Creek, destroying the town. Two years after the disaster, most of the adult survivors continued to show emotional disturbances. Similarly, most of the survivors of concentration camps in World War II (1939-1945) continued to experience nightmares and other symptoms of severe emotional problems long after their release from the camps.
The most stressful events for adults involve major life changes, such as death of a spouse or family member, divorce, imprisonment, losing one’s job, and major personal disability or illness. For adolescents, the most stressful events are the death of a parent or a close family member, divorce of their parents, imprisonment of their mother or father, and major personal disability or illness. Sometimes, apparently positive events can have stressful components. For example, a woman who gets a job promotion may receive a higher salary and greater prestige, but she may also feel stress from supervising coworkers who were once peers. Getting married is usually considered a positive experience, but planning the wedding, deciding whom to invite, and dealing with family members may cause couples to feel stressed.
Much of the stress in our lives results from having to deal with daily hassles pertaining to our jobs, personal relationships, and everyday living circumstances. Many people’s experience the same hassles every day. Examples of daily hassles include living in a noisy neighbourhood, commuting to work in heavy traffic, disliking one’s fellow workers, worrying about owing money, waiting in a long line, and misplacing or losing things. When taken individually, these hassles may feel like only minor irritants, but cumulatively, over time, they can cause significant stress. The amount of exposure people have to daily hassles is strongly related to their daily mood. Generally, the greater their exposure is to hassles, the worse is their mood. Studies have found that one’s exposure to daily hassles is actually more predictive of illness than is exposure to major life events.
Studies conducted in countries around the world demonstrate that people can actually work themselves to death. Factors such as workplace stress and long hours contribute to the risk of death from overwork. In this article from Scientific American Presents, Harvey B. Simon, a professor at Harvard Medical School, explores recent findings about the dangers of working too hard and suggests ways of developing healthier work habits.
A person who is stressed typically has anxious thoughts and difficulty concentrating or remembering. Stress can also change outward behaviours. Teeth clenching, hand wringing, pacing, nail biting, and heavy breathing are common signs of stress. People also feel physically different when they are stressed. Butterflies in the stomach, cold hands and feet, dry mouth, and increased heart rate are all physiological effects of stress that we associate with the emotion of anxiety.
When a person appraises an event as stressful, the body undergoes a number of changes that heighten physiological and emotional arousal. First, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system is activated. The sympathetic division prepares the body for action by directing the adrenal glands to secrete the hormone’s epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). In response, the heart begins to beat more rapidly, muscle tension increases, blood pressure rises, and blood flow is diverted from the internal organs and skin to the brain and muscles. Breathing speeds up, the pupils dilate, and perspiration increases. This reaction is sometimes called the fight-or-flight response because it energizes the body to confront either or flee from a threat.
Another part of the stress response involves the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, parts of the brain that are important in regulating hormones and many other bodily functions. In times of stress, the hypothalamus directs the pituitary gland to secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone. This hormone, in turn, stimulates the outer layer, or cortex, of the adrenal glands to release glucocorticoids, primarily the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol helps the body access fats and carbohydrates to fuel the fight-or-flight response.
Canadian scientist Hans Selye was one of the first people to study the stress response. As a medical student, Selye noticed that patients with quite different illnesses shared many of the same symptoms, such as muscle weakness, weight loss, and apathy. Selye believed these symptoms might be part of a general response by the body to stress. In the 1930s Selye studied the reactions of laboratory rats to a variety of physical stressors, such as heat, cold, poisons, strenuous exercise, and electric shock. He found that the different stressors all produced a similar response: enlargement of the adrenal glands, shrinkage of the thymus gland (a gland involved in the immune response), and bleeding stomach ulcers.
Selye proposed a three-stage model of the stress response, which he termed the general adaptation syndrome. The three stages in Selye’s model are alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. The alarm stage is a generalized state of arousal during the body’s initial response to the stressor. In the resistance stage, the body adapts to the stressor and continues to resist it with a high level of physiological arousal. When the stress persists for a long time, and the body is chronically overactive, resistance fails and the body moves to the exhaustion stage. In this stage, the body is vulnerable to disease and even death.
The stress test, also called an exercise electrocardiogram, measures the heart rate of a person during exercise and identifies any abnormal changes in heart function. Such changes may indicate the presence of coronary or arterial disease.
Physicians increasingly acknowledge that stress is a factor in a wide variety of health problems. These problems include cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure); coronary heart disease (coronary atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the heart’s arteries); and gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers. Stress also appears to be a risk factor in cancer, chronic pain problems, and many other health disorders. Stress-Related Disorders.
Researchers have clearly identified stress, and specifically a person's characteristic way of responding to stress, as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The release of stress hormones has a cumulative negative effect on the heart and blood vessels. Cortisol, for example, increases blood pressure, which can damage the inside walls of blood vessels. It also increases the free fatty acids in the bloodstream, which in turn leads to plaque buildup on the lining of the blood vessels. As the blood vessels narrow over time, it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump sufficient blood through them.
People with certain personality types seem to be physiologically over responsive to stress and therefore more vulnerable to heart disease. For example, the so-called Type A personality is characterized by competitiveness, impatience, and hostility. When Type A people experience stress, their heart rate and blood pressure climb higher and recovery takes longer than with more easygoing people. The most “toxic” personality traits of Type A people are frequent reactions of hostility and anger. These traits are correlated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Stress also appears to influence the development of cancer, but the relationship is not as well established as it is for cardiovascular diseases. There is a moderate positive correlation between extent of exposure and life stressors and cancer-the more stressors, the greater the likelihood of cancer. In addition, a tendency to cope with unpleasant events in a rigid, unemotional manner is associated with the development and progression of cancer.
Ordinarily the immune system is a marvel of precision. It protects the body from disease by seeking out and destroying foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. But there is substantial evidence that stress suppresses the activity of the immune system, leaving an organism more susceptible to infectious diseases. An organism with a weakened immune system is also less able to control naturally occurring mutant cells that overproduce and lead to cancer.
Numerous studies have linked stress with decreased immune response. For example, when laboratory animals are physically restrained, exposed to inescapable electric shocks, or subjected to overcrowding, loud noises, or maternal separation, they show decreased immune system activity. Researchers have reported similar findings for humans. One study, for example, found weakened immune response in people whose spouses had just died. Other studies have documented weakened immune responses among students taking final examinations; people who are severely deprived of sleep; recently divorced or separated men and women; people caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease; and people who have recently lost their jobs.
Stress appears to depress immune function in two main ways. First, when people experience stress, they more often engage in behaviours that have adverse effects on their health: cigarette smoking, using more alcohol or drugs, sleeping less, exercising less, and eating poorly. In addition, stress may alter the immune system directly through hormonal changes. Research indicates that glucocorticoids-hormones that are secreted by the adrenal glands during the stress response-actively suppress the body’s immune system.
At one time scientists believed the immune system functioned more or less as an independent system of the body. They now know that the immune system does not operate by it, but interacts closely with other bodily systems. The field of psychoneuroimmunology focuses on the relationship between psychological influences (such as stress), the nervous system, and the immune system.
Stress influences mental health as well as physical health. People who experience a high level of stress for a long time-and who cope poorly with this stress-may become irritable, socially withdrawn, and emotionally unstable. They may also have difficulty concentrating and solving problems. Some people under intense and prolonged stress may start to suffer from extreme anxiety, depression, or other severe emotional problems. Anxiety disorders caused by stress may include generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. People who survive catastrophes sometimes develop an anxiety disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder. They reexperience the traumatic event again and again in dreams and in disturbing memories or flashbacks during the day. They often seem emotionally numb and may be easily startled or angered.
Coping with stress means using thoughts and actions to deal with stressful situations and lower our stress levels. Many people have a characteristic way of coping with stress based on their personality. People who cope well with stress tend to believe they can personally influence what happens to them. They usually make more positive statements about themselves, resist frustration, remain optimistic, and persevere even under extremely adverse circumstances. What is most important, they choose the appropriate strategies to cope with the stressors they confront? Conversely, people who cope poorly with stress tend to have somewhat opposite personality characteristics, such as lower -esteem and a pessimistic outlook on life.
Psychologists distinguish two broad types of coping strategies: problem-focussed coping and emotion-focussed coping. The goal of both strategies is to control one’s stress level. In problem-focussed coping, people try to short-circuit negative emotions by taking some action to modify, avoid, or minimize the threatening situation. They change their behaviour to deal with the stressful situation. In emotion-focussed coping, people try directly to moderate or eliminate unpleasant emotions. Examples of emotion-focussed coping include rethinking the situation in a positive way, relaxation, denial, and wishful thinking.
To understand these strategies, consider the example of a permed student in college who faces three difficult final examinations in a single week. She knows she must get top grades in order to have a chance at acceptance to medical school. This situation is a potential source of stress. To cope, she could organize a study group and master the course materials systematically (problem-focussed coping). Or she could decide that she needs to relax and collect her for an hour or so (emotion-focussed coping) before proceeding with an action plan (problem-focussed coping). She might also decide to watch television for hours on end to prevent having to think about or study for her exams (emotion-focussed coping).
In general, problem-focussed coping is the most effective coping strategy when people have realistic opportunities to change aspects of their situation and reduce stress. Emotion-focussed coping is most useful as a short-term strategy. It can help reduce one’s arousal level before engaging in problem-solving and taking action, and it can help people deal with stressful situations in which there are few problem-focussed coping options.
Support from friends, family members, and others who care for us goes a long way in helping us to get by in times of trouble. Social support systems provide us with emotional sustenance, tangible resources and aid, and information when we are in need. People with social support feel cared about and valued by others and feel a sense of belonging to a larger social network.
A large body of research has linked social support to good health and a superior ability to cope with stress. For example, one long-term study of several thousand California residents found that people with extensive social ties lived longer than those with few close social contacts. Another study found that heart-attack victims who lived alone were nearly twice as likely to have another heart attack as those who lived with someone. Even the perception of social support can help people cope with stress. Studies have found that people’s appraisal of the availability of social support is more closely related to how well they deal with stressors than the actual amount of support they receive or the size of their social network.
Research also suggests that the companionship of animals can help lower stress. For example, one study found that in times of stress, people with pet dogs made fewer visits to the doctor than those without pets.
A patient at a biofeedback clinic sits connected to electrodes on his head and finger. Biofeedback is a technique in which patients attempt to become aware of and then alter bodily functions such as muscle tension and blood pressure. It is used in treating pain and stress-related conditions, and may help some paralysed patients regain the use of their limbs.
Biofeedback is a technique in which people learn voluntary control of stress-related physiological responses, such as skin temperature, muscle tension, blood pressure, and heart rate. Normally, people cannot control these responses voluntarily. In biofeedback training, people are connected to an instrument or machine that measures a particular physiological response, such as heart rate, and feeds that measurement back to them in an understandable way. For example, the machine might beep with each heartbeat or display the number of heartbeats per minute on a digital screen. Next, individuals learn to be sensitive to subtle changes inside their body that affect the response system being measured. Gradually, they learn to produce changes in that response system-for example, to lower their heart rate voluntarily. Typically individuals use different techniques and proceed by trial and error until they discover a way to produce the desired changes.
Scientists do not understand the mechanisms by which biofeedback works. Nonetheless, it has become a widely used and generally accepted technique for producing relaxation and lowering physiological arousal in patients with stress-related disorders. One use of biofeedback is in the treatment of tension headaches. By learning to lower muscle tension in the forehead, scalp, and neck, many tension headache sufferers can find long-term relief.
Through meditation, people can achieve relaxation and reduce stress. Here a yogi, or practitioner of yoga, meditates in the cross-legged “lotus position.
In addition to biofeedback, two other major methods of relaxation are progressive muscular relaxation and meditation. Progressive muscular relaxation involves systematically tensing and then relaxing different groups of skeletal (voluntary) muscles, while directing one’s attention toward the contrasting sensations produced by the two procedures. After practising progressive muscular relaxation, individuals become increasingly sensitive to rising tension levels and can produce the relaxation response during everyday activities (often by repeating a cue word, such as calm, to themselves).
Meditation, in addition to teaching relaxation, is designed to achieve subjective goals such as contemplation, wisdom, and altered states of consciousness. Some forms have a strong Eastern religious and spiritual heritage based in Zen Buddhism and yoga. Other varieties emphasize a particular lifestyle for practitioners. One of the most common forms of meditation, Transcendental Meditation, involves focussing attention on and repeating a mantra, which is a word, sound, or phrase thought to have particularly calming properties.
Both progressive muscle relaxation and meditation reliably reduce stress-related arousal. They have been used successfully to treat a range of stress-related disorders, including hypertension, migraine and tension headaches, and chronic pain.
The empirical and the rational forms of humanism stand opposed to blind faith and other irrational and super-experiential claims. Both are anti-clerical, though the latter tender-minded humanism is not anti-authority, since it sees ultimate authority as residing in the reason of the universe, history, or man. However, whereas the rationalist humanist takes such social values of the Judaic-Christian tradition as love, compassion, fraternity, and mutual aid to be basic, the empirical humanist tends to subordinate these values in favour of individuality, liberty, and equality of rights and opportunities. Because rationalistic humanism is closer to the Christian tradition than is the empirical type, it can enter dialogue more easily with theism. For example, as the heir of Hegel, Marxism offers, without God, the authority of social history as mediated through the interpretation of basic texts, a philosophical tradition, and a political party. Empirical humanism offers the world a simple but a prevailing authority of the autonomous individual without God. This difference indicates not only why social, rational Christians and Marxists can talk as genuine rivals on a ground of common issues, but also why on social issues throughout the world Marxist humanism is strong and individualistic humanism is weak.
One may ask why Billy Graham-the epitome of the personalistic, revivalist spirit of North American Protestant Puritanism--has had such success in his visits to the Soviet Union and other parts of Eastern Europe. His theology is individualistic and non-rational in the extreme. In think one reason for the cordial relation that has grown up between him and Soviet authorities and believers are the overriding concern for peace and human life on both sides. By contrast, the personalistic apocalypticism of President Reagan, Jerry Falwell, and the others of the religious far right is so twisted by anti-communism and unconcern about Apocalypse and nuclear holocausts that they refuse dealing with the Soviets in a sensible and cooperative way.
It was Greek rationalism that provided the early intellectual framework and defence of the Christian faith. Before Christ this rationalism had held that there is a principle of universal order in which ‘we live and move and have our being’ and that ‘we are members one of another’. Empirical humanism, dating from Democritus who held the state in high regard and apparently believed in mortal gods appearing in dreams and premonitions, was derived from both physical and human considerations and was directed against the official and popular cults. Epicureanism developed into a humanistic ideal and a way of life. However, being intellectual, sophisticated, and attractive to the individualistic aspirations of the middle-class, it could not compete with Christianity that provided mystical fellowship. Thus, the opposition of empirical humanism to theism has been rooted in its anti-authoritarian and anti-metaphysical attitudes, and in its individualistic independence and analytical science. Rationalistic humanism, on the other hand, has simply sought something other than the supernatural warrant for the extra-individual.
Modern Western empiricism in its definitive Humean form, following the course of the economic system that gave it birth, has declined into the niceties of scholastic linguistic analysis, irrelevant to the great social issues of the times. Cybernetics and a revised positivism have themselves revealed the key role of non-sensuous factors in our adjustment to the world. Since the crisis in empiricism has reflected the continuing crisis in capitalism, while the latter moves from one crisis to another, one may expect to see individualistic sensate philosophy in the final stages of its dissolution enacted in the meaninglessness of an increasing number of lives.
Just as the major rival to capitalism is socialism and the anti-dehumanizing national liberation movements, the major rivals to sense empiricism are Marxism, which is based in socialism, and, in the Western world, Christianity is situated ambiguously in both capitalist and socialist nations. Though both the empiricism of capitalism and the rationalism of Marxism are non-theistic and opposed to Christian theism, the former is much farther from Christianity in outlook and approach, for true Christianity is neither sensate in its knowledge nor profit-oriented in its values. Christianity has never been unequivocal in its response to capitalism, but the rise of Marxism as a major alternative, which is non-theistic but on the side of commitment and meaning in history, is forcing it now to take a stand. The emerging dialogue between Marxists and Christians is evidence of a sense of rivalry accompanied by a sense of unity. While Marxists oppose capitalism and theism and Christians oppose individualism and atheism, both oppose the collapse of meaning in a history threatened by economic and social disorder and by a nuclear exchange between capitalist and socialist nations that would bring omnicide to our planet. Hence, in the next section we shall look at the relations between Marxist humanism and Christian theism in the field of ethics.
The dialectical relation between theists and humanists has taken many forms in history. They have been continuously united, opposed, interpenetrating, and mutually transforming. This dialectical relation has not been merely abstract and philosophical. It has reflected the real conflicts of history between the gods of civilization and the totemic spirits of prehistory, between city dwellers and country people (‘pagans’-pagani-were peasants), between masters and slaves, between literate clergy and illiterate laity, between feudalists and merchants, between capitalists and proletarians, between Western colonialists and ‘heathen’ Africans or Asians. The conflict between theism and humanism has also been associated with more permanent oppositions in persons and human societies: Receptivity vs. active dominance, dependence vs. critical detachment, loyalty to the group vs. individual independence, and authority and tradition vs. questioning and innovation. Theism has been associated preponderantly with the first side of these oppositions, since religion has tended to take institutionalized forms and to become affiliated with the dominant structures of society, while atheisms have functioned as subordinate and critical movements in society. Many ‘theisms’, however, which began as dissident minority movements and were initially denounced as ‘atheism’, later modified or even supplanted the reigning ‘theism’, which in turn, came to be considered ‘atheism’. The genocidal Gods of Samuel and the miracle-working God of Elijah calling for human sacrifice, while ascendant in their own day over unbelievers, appear as false and atheistic in the perspectives of Amos and Jesus. The Yahweh whom Moses found in Midian and who made a covenant with the Israelites was not the same as the gods of nature whom his people had hitherto worshipped.
In modern times in the West, secularism and science stress an appeal to observable facts and are correlated with a nonreligious attitude. Here, humanism has become associated with sensation or experience as the source and referent of knowledge, with the relativity of values, with the material world, and with the power and importance of human beings. Theism, in contrast, emphasizes reason, absolute values, the spiritual and ideal unlike the actual world, and the power and importance of God. Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, the leading critics of theism in modern times, accentuated human existence against the abstract ‘essence’ of religion. This contrast, dating from the direct attack of 18th century mechanical materialism upon a feudalized theology, oversimplified the relation. Marx was deeply enough steeped in German religious idealism and Hegel's dialectical method to realize that religious behaviour and thought, though alienated, spring from a profound need of man to fulfill him. He reconceived the categories of rational, absolute, spiritual, ideal, possible, essential, which had been exalted one-sidedly by religion, upon a material base and in dialectical relation with the categories of empirical, relative, bodily, material, actual, and existent. Repudiating supernaturalism and idealism, the prevailing forms of religious thought, Marx pursued a humanized naturalism1 that sought to discover in those forms, as in all forms of human consciousness, what he had found in Hegel's Phenomenology, namely, ‘the -genesis of man as a process’. A search of this type was required by his humanistic method and goal.
Many influences shaped the personality and thought of the young Karl Marx. Here we may mention his Jewish and later Christian parents; his father with his faith in the Enlightenment, the ideals of the French Revolution, and his ‘pure belief in God’; his Gymnasium teachers who taught him, among other things, Christian doctrine and who were in trouble with the police; his mentor, von Westphalen, a Saint-Simonian utopian socialist who called for a ‘new Christianity’; and his teacher at the University of Bonn, E. Gans, also a Saint-Simonian.
As a student of philosophy the young Marx was centrally concerned with the problem of humanity's alienation and freedom, which he had inherited indirectly from the Judaic-Christian tradition by way of German idealism. The Jewish prophets, Jesus, the early Church Fathers, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and many others had provided formulations and answers for this problem. The synthesis of St. Thomas did not prevent the development of two divergent tendencies: Duns Scotus' emphasis on individuality and will and Meister Eckhart's mysticism that defined the human soul as potentially God and realizable as God. The first tendency helped to produce empirical science, bourgeois society, Protestant dualism, and humanism; the second tendency promoted rationalism and idealism in philosophy and their alliance with religion. Spinoza intellectualized the mysticism, which had been carried forward by Nicholas of Cusa and Giordano Bruno. However, Leibniz, who could not tolerate Spinosa's deterministic mechanism or the duality of both Spinosa and Descartes, recalled the principle of the identity of part and whole22 developed by Cusanuss and Bruno, and stressed the unity of creatures in continuity of vital and sensitive activity leading up to God.
More like Descartes, Kant (1724-1804) was shaped by the influence of mathematics and the empiricism of the industrially advanced countries. Him a scientist and a Pietist, Kant was aware of the deficiencies of empiricism, rationalism, and moral-religious feeling when took alone, as well as of the crisis in thought threatening traditional religious values and concepts. He believed that the disputes of metaphysicians on the soul, freedom, and God produced of a greater amount than that as a result of its containing masses becomes of its causal implications of materialism, fatalism, atheism, free-thinking, unbelief, fanaticism, and superstition.
The young Kant, imbued with the philosophy of Wolff, a follower of Leibniz, took as axiomatic the primacy of the mind in knowledge and the formative and universal character of the mind. As he developed, however, particularly under the impact of empiricists like Hume, Kant became convinced that the establishment of both science and religion must avoid ‘dogmatism’ and be ‘critical’ in taking into account both rationalism and empiricism, and hence the origins, possibilities, limits, and rights of the human mind. Kant's conclusion was to found the structure of perception and understanding on the innate forms of the mind that, as in Leibniz, are universal and not merely subjective; to reject speculative metaphysics; to affirm a ‘categorical imperative’ for the practical reason; and to argue that ideas like God are ‘postulates’ of the moral will. Kant was thus more eclectic than synthetic. A Protestant in an age of reason and science, he did not move beyond the autonomy of man's will and reason but reinforced that autonomy. Whereas Leibniz, basing him on the microcosm-macrocosm of medieval mysticism, had tried to hold all individuals in unity with one another and with God, Kant absorbed Leibniz' stress on active reason but remained essentially modern and scientific in an outlook, considering religion to be adventitious and God unprovable. From the point of view of a comprehensive system like that of St. Thomas or Leibniz, Kant's philosophy appears cautious and divided. What prevented him from making the great leap forward, as Marx's criticism of Feuerbach indicates, was his incapacity to conquer empiricism - and individuality, subjectivity, alienation - in a creative way. Though the medieval mystics, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, and Fichte had all in their own ways tried to transcend empiricism, their solutions either were static or denied the empirical component of human life.
Kant influenced Marx both directly and, through German idealism, indirectly in the following ways. (1) Because of its autonomy, which Marx accepted, human reason may be alienated in the form of ‘false consciousness’, and from its generic functioning. (2) Since our mind is active and creative, human beings can make their own history. (3) Theological and metaphysical speculations are futile and have no foundation in experience or reason; hence religious thought must be explained by non-rational forces behind the moral will it. (4) The human being has a generic nature by which he or she is distinguished from a merely empirical being. From such a view Marx constructed his theory of alienation, dehumanization, and ‘socialized humanity’. Rousseau had been a critical influence upon Kant's position in this regard, and Rousseau in turn had translated the Christian view of the fall and redemption into secular terms: ‘God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil.’25 Also, ‘the general, the will is always right and tends always to the public advantage’.26 (5) In contrast to some empiricists, Kant believed in progress. Like similar ideas held by his contemporaries, this was a secular variant of the Judaic-Christian idea that stood in opposition to the Greek theories of fate (Moira), cycles, and degeneration. Marx adopted the idea, and developed his own interpretation.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814), the most important and immediate heir of Kant, took up his teacher's theme of autonomy. Under the influence of the French Revolution with its ‘rights of man’ and the Romantic Movement of Germany with its affinities to Christian mysticism, Fichte amplified the function of Kant's ‘practical reason.’ For Fichte, man's life and experience originate in his ego or will; out of the commitment of the will the person posits an opposite in the world and then fuses the with that. Through a series of dialectical and -transcending steps one thereby ascends to full knowledge of the absolute. Though in his later work Fichte called this process God, in his early work the dialectical process is clearly the creative praxis of persons who are rational, active, and social. In Fichte humanity and God, humanism and theism were indistinguishably fused.
The influence of Fichte on Marx is evident in Fichte's notions of the -creative freedom of humanity, of the human being as a practical and social being, of the person's continuous -transcendence, of the dialectical process of development, and of the revolt against theoretical and social dualisms.
The most powerful intellectual influence on the young Marx during his university years was the thought of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). In his youth Hegel was a theological student at the Protestant seminary at Tübingen. The problem occupying him then and throughout his life was the rationality of Christianity, or the spiritual character of reason: What is the relation of faith to intellect, of humanity to God? The work of Kant and the Enlightenment converged with that of German Romanticism (especially Herder) and Rousseau to produce in Hegel a unique synthesis. Whereas Kant made a Copernican revolution by showing how a person's understanding revolves around its own forms, Hegel's revolution was bolder: it turned everything into history, the divine history of Spirit that culminates in the reason of humanity. Hegel combined the Romantic view that humankind is evolving through history and becoming like God with the view that the whole of history is the work of Reason. Here the unifying concept was Geist, which means both Mind and Spirit. The young Hegel's historical studies of Christianity led him, on a Kantian basis, to distinguish the interior moral power of reason from the external forms of religion. ‘Pure Reason completely free of any limit or restriction whatsoever is the deity him. In explaining the alienation of Christianity, he contrasted the rigid and ‘positive’ religion of Jewish law with the free religion of the Greeks, and the anti-naturalism and dualism of the Jews with the naturalism and mysticism of the Greeks.29 Christianity has ‘fallen’ from its ideal unity into the ‘depravity’ of the privatized and fragmented Roman world. God has been objectified and alienated, and human lives have been divided between religion and secularity, church and state, and piety and virtue. The overcoming of such estrangement is Jesus' ‘pantheism of love’ and the Kingdom of God.
Hegel's mature philosophy was an elaborate reformulation of this early statement of the problem and its solution. One may in finding that he persistently argues in the state of alienation (Selbst-Entfremdung) from him, others, one's own moral law, and society. Such -alienation takes the form of ‘objectification’ (Vergegenständlichung), in which one's world is hastened into separate objects that stand over against one and appear as real things. In such a world of alienation and otherness (Entausserung) one either becomes master (subject) or slave (object); nevertheless, in either case one has fallen from the realm of freedom or -consciousness into the realm of blind necessity or ignorance. As one comes to recognize one's true in the other, one began the movement back toward an unalienated and unified -consciousness (Aneigung). This movement of -reconciliation in the person, via Reason, is nothing more than the activity of Geist or God in the world. Though the reworking of the Christian theme of the drama of salvation is apparent in this theodicy, Hegel has substituted human Reason for a personal God, made illusion the Tempter, and replaced moral Sin with intellectual Gullibility.
Was Hegel an atheist? Some orthodox religious leaders suspected so, and some philosophers, especially the Young Hegelians, believed so. Feuerbach took up the attack on Hegel from a materialist viewpoint, arguing that the subjective being of God resolves into the predicates of the human being, that theology is reducible to anthropology. Feuerbach completed the humanizing, subjectivizing tendency in German thought that had begun with mystics like Eckhart and with Reformers like Münzer and Luther, and ran through Kant, Fichte, and Hegel.
Hegel's philosophy displayed the double irony of starting out as a critique of orthodox religion and society and ending as a justification of them, and of starting out as a philosophy of religion and ending as an implicit atheism. He sought to heal dualisms and to take the Incarnation of his faith seriously, but in so doing he assimilated God to the world-process, and eventually to the Prussian State.
The radical Young Hegelians, among whom were counted Marx and Engels, saw what was the most radical feature of Hegel's philosophy: It’s emphasis upon change, movement, interconnection, transformation, and development -in a word, upon dialectical process. The one constant and absolute reality is the creative process it; Its contents and the forms of what it creates are transient and relative. The creative process it, however, is moving toward triumph over its obstructions in history. This was a new version of the dynamic and majestic sovereignty of God, recalling in a materialist and dialectical form the visions of the Old Testament prophets and sages, the Messianic expectations of the early Christians, the yearning of the mystics, and the nostalgic and fugitive fantasies of Christian millennialists. In its romantic exaltation of action, will, freedom, and the organic unity of humankind and history, it belonged with those other visions that inspired men at this time, such as the dream of Rousseau that impelled the plebeian revolutionaries of the Year II in France. In its assurance of a victory in progress which humanity might join, it evoked again the apocalyptic dream that had haunted the imaginations of Christians for almost two-thousand years. It set it against not only the ideology of feudalism but the modern ideology of the ascendent class of rationalists, mechanists, and Newtonian liberals of the bourgeois order. In the hands of the philosophies this liberal vision had helped to undermine French absolutism but, in turn, it became suspect in the eyes of many who saw it as an anti-populist viewpoint. This Romantic suspicion also had its conservative roots, for while the Romantic imagination was allied to the spirit of the Revolution, with its mood of ‘alienation’, it sought to recover its lost harmony in primitive man, in the ‘folk’, and even in the middle ages. For many Romantics the non-alienated unity of man could be recovered only in and through humankind with its history and its goals transcending the in dividual what Hegel called the March of God on Earth.
Insofar as Marx took over the grand dialectic of Hegel, he was a Romantic. Under the impact of his reading of Feuerbach (1804-1872), however, the young Marx saw that Hegel's dialectic must come down to earth and enter practice, and that its speculative view of the state did not explain the contradictions in society. Marx attacked Hegel from a Feuerbachian base: the state is derived from people and not vice versa; The ‘heavenly’ political life is alienated from our ‘species-life’, and religious alienation rests in economic life. He substituted ‘socialized man for Hegel's abstractive and spiritual idea for Feuerbach's individualized substantia of man.
What leads to the alienation of our ‘species-life’? As Marx developed his answer to this question posed by Hegel and Feuerbach, he developed his own philosophy. Religion is an expression of a widespread alienation of men in society, of ‘private interest . . . property . . . and . . . egoistic persons’. With that the Christian State ‘is not the genuine realization of the human basis of religion’. The theological state has not succeeded in instituting in human, secular form ‘the human basis of which Christianity is the transcendental expression’. Marx's appreciation of ‘the human basis’ of religion appeared later in his ‘Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right’ (1843), which states that ‘religion is the fantastic realization of the human essence because the human essence has no reality. Here religion is not described as a fantasy or as a phenomenon isolated from man; it is an expression of man, but of alienated man.
Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.
Marx's criterion for this criticism is his humanism. Inheriting the notion of -alienation from German idealism, this humanism sees its roots not in illusion as such but in the material and social condition of human life. Consequently in his critique of religion Marx's main attack is directed against ‘a condition that needs illusions’. In answer to Hegel, Marx insists that religious criticism must not remain in the domain of the Idea and ‘the other world’, but must come downwards to trajectories that equally stabilize the earth and the suffering of real men, ‘the halo of which is religion’. Criticism as well to expose of all other forms deemed -alienating, later described on one side that Marx legally, politically, religiously, aesthetically, and philosophically pursued of a ‘superstructure’ of class society. All of them are abstractions and distortions of the really human being; Yet, seem utterly mistaken as the false human being for the true one. They do not make humanity, nor does humanity make them as forms of its mythical illusory and unhappy discernment for which is in the lacking of consciousness, as there be of that which enables us to think. At the same time Marx dialectically recognized in humanity's religion its revolt against its suffering, and humanity and its discontent with false consciousness, that is, with the human ‘spirit’ in a ‘spiritless situation’. Rather than seeing the person as fallen and alienated from the institution and thought of religion, Marx sees religion and the religious person as a fall or alienation from the real person, while humanism is a first but an abstract step toward positive communism. It should be noted that because Marx was opposed to theism ultimately because of its anti-humanism, any joining of the argument between Marxist humanism and theism must be joined on the issue of humanism. It has been demonstrated, Marx presumably would have accepted a faith humanistic and naturalistic in all respects, however religion appeared to be identified historically with alienated ideology and a set-class society? Marx had an appreciation for the humanism of the story of ‘the carpenter whom the rich men killed’ and the religion ‘that taught us the worship of the child’; Engels expressed admiration for the revolutionary character of early Christianity; While Lenin believed that cooperation between Marxists and believers was possible.
Marx's emphasis on the material and social world of practice as the source of our delineation culminated in the notion of the working class as the chief bearer of the new society. Marx probably first learned about the role of labour in human life from the Phenomenology of Hegel, who had been influenced by his reading of Adam Smith. The labour theory of value has, if not alone, the virtue of qualities, finding its roots in the medieval communism of many Christian groups as well as in the Scholastics, and, beyond that, in the Bible. It echoed Christian-Stoic organicism and the Cusanus-Bruno-Leibniz notion of the macrocosm in the microcosm, especially as the revolutionary labour movement mirrored the dialectical movement of the whole universe. Whereas, the mysticism from Eckhart to Hegel had spoken of the alienated individual as returning home by way of individual, contemplative knowledge, Marx insisted that it must be accomplish by collective political action. That is, it must be carried out by the members of that remnant class in society who is most dehumanized by ‘radical chains’, and hence most likely to pass over the stage of bourgeois society as -delusive dehumanization and then become genuinely human. Analogously, Eckhart and the other mystics argued that the man who is most empty and ignorant is the most likely to become divine, as Jesus declared that the last shall be first. Thus Hegel's abstract form of alienation, Entaüsserung (externalization), becomes Marx's veraüssern (selling). Religious and philosophical accounts of this alienation (Christian ‘sin’, and Hegel's ‘appearance’) have been, for Marx, only alienated reinforcements of the alienation inherent in the exploitive labour situation of class society. Similarly, Christian and Hegelian notions of the unity of workers yet to be achieved by some formality of indirect abstraction for being a truth but away from ‘the real movement’ of working people and of communism ‘to abolish the present state of things’ and to create the unity longed for in religion and philosophy.
Marx and Engels' Manifesto of the Communist Party, with its militant call for the workers of the world to break their chains and build a new world, was the climax of a rich period of German philosophy in its struggle to solve the problem of human alienation and freedom. As we have seen, this problem was inherited from Christianity. Most of all Christians have taken to be of an article of faith that human beings have an organic connection with Spirit (Logos). Hegel started here, finding this Logos to be supremely revealed in the -consciousness of the human being. For Christianity's authoritarian autonomy, however, this was a fatal step; For the young followers of Hegel soon saw that the preexistent Logos may go and leave only the human being. Spirit is already characterologically secularized in humanity. On this view, the vehicle of the human spirit, which the young Marx called ‘species-being’ and the mature Marx called ‘development’, is not the Church or any other institution but is potentially everywhere. The working class, organized to bring to pass the de-alienated unity of persons with one another and with nature, becomes the major source of value in history. A social prometheanism has replaced a religion of sacrificial submission, however, human compassion and privily superseded humility.
The promethean insistence on the power of human -transcendence had been operatively Christian it, as had been the notion of creative practice, which was strong in German idealism and was carried to its conclusion in Marx's social praxis. Engels asserted that ‘the German working-class movement is the inheritor of German classical philosophy’. Through that it is also the heir of the humanistic vision in Christianity that laid emphasis upon the mutuality and solidarity of people in actual living relations and upon the value of work as such. Paul enjoined the first Christians: ‘If any would not work, neither should he eat.’ Engels approving recognition of Christianity have remarkedly made ‘notable points of resemblance with the modern working-class movement’: an oppressed people's movement, slaves and poor people expectant of liberation from bondage, and people against whom the persecution of the ruling groups is directed but who struggle victoriously against it. The working people who responded to the humanist vision of Marx, Engels, and Lenin was responding to a vision that was similar to that of early Christianity, but which are largely medieval and modern Christianity, having become a movement of the ruling and privileged classes rather than of the suffering classes, had abandoned.
Though for Marx humanity and its ideas continuously change, he also believed, following Hegel and Feuerbach, that it has an essence (Wesen). Some things in the human being remained constant: Generic needs, general relations to one's fellow-man and nature, and the laws of development. Such development is intrinsically dialectical, social, and historical, for the human essence is dividual but communal, being ‘the ensemble of the social relations’. Not only human values but also human knowledge is social tasks and achievements. Further, human development is not fixed at a certain limit; it is open-ended, bounded only by species-death. It is this-worldly and not other-worldly-which for Marx and Engels means life-affirming and not life-denying. This concept of the human essence had an affinity to the Christian concept that ‘we are members of one-another’ and that we are creative: Together with others we can transcend the present forms of our thoughts, actions, and values toward a new and fulfilled future.
Such values of Christianity have been articulated principally within the Neo-Platonic framework of Greco-Roman civilization, the dualisms of the medieval period, the individualistic and predestinarian theologies of early bourgeois Protestantism, and the ambiguous liberal theologies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Conscious of the material origins of ideologies, Marx and Engels were able to point to the limits of these formulations. At the same time they undertook to express the values of our sociality and creativity, with the necessary changes made, in materialistic, economic, and political terms, though demanding drastic changes to realize them. In this way, Marxism absorbed, negated, preserved, and transformed those values of Christianity.
Because Marx's humanism represents a fusion of empirical humanism (from the Enlightenment) and rationalistic humanism (from German idealism), Marxism has taken two different positions toward theism. Following the French materialists and Feuerbach and applying the ‘sensuous’ test, Marx's early criticisms of humanism stress that theism does not meet this principle of verifiability, and hence is involved in a flight from sensuous, material reality. However, the Hegelian critique also appears: because ‘every historically developed social form [is] in fluid movement . . . and . . . transient’, from this ‘critical and revolutionary’ point of view, the idea of God must be a symptom of alienation and the reification of an abstraction in order to secure comfort in ‘an unspiritual situation’. Drawing support from science, Engels affirms that what is real is not a timeless, isolated, fixed, completed, metaphysical reality that is the Deity, but ‘a process’ or world ‘in constant motion, change, transformation, development.’ Hence a ‘system of natural and historical knowledge’ that is all-inclusive and final, not to mention supernatural knowledge that claims to pass beyond history, is ‘a contradiction to the fundamental law of dialectical reasoning’. Ultimate reality and value are to be found neither in the depths of individual subjective experience nor in a supernatural God, but in the processes and relations of social history and physical and biological nature.
In its criticisms of theism, Marxism need not simply point to the supersensuous presumptions of theism. In the spirit both of empiricism and of the rationalism developed in Hegel and still further in modern science, it also can call attention to theism's unwarranted transcendence of relativities and to its violation of the best established principle in the modern mind, that is, the relativity of sensuous knowledge. In his Theses on Feuerbach, Marx saw that Feuerbach him by his mechanical materialism had falsely absolutized the sensuous, static object of contemplation. When it is concrete, that activity, ‘developed by idealism . . . Took to contradistinctions to materialism’, defines what is real. Accordingly, either God must be a concrete activity or some aspect of such activity, or He must be a non-entity.64 Marxism finds no such activity.
Christian theism has also been affected by such developments in the modernity of some physical theory as bounded by an unformidable combination of equations that to some understanding that make change and relativity essential to the comprehension of reality. Among Roman Catholics, Karl Rahner and Edward Schillebeeck have sought to find divinity by way of our existential and interpersonal situation, while a theology of hope and of the future has been developed by Johannes Metz and Leslie Dewart. This latter theology has its counterpart in the work of Protestants like Jürgen Moltmann and Herbert Richardson. These theological innovations in Catholicism have been evoked in large part by the Ecumenical Council, it the result of the sensitivity of Pope John XXIII to the material and cultural changes throughout the globe. They have been more dramatic than the changes in Protestant theology, whose existentialist, Kierkegaard, had to wait for the disintegration of bourgeois civilization before his voice was heard. Most Protestant theologians of the present epoch-Bonhoeffer, Bultmann, Tillich, Robinson, Macquarrie-in various ways reflect this existentialist, secular trend. The Catholic Teilhard de Chardin and the Protestant Alfred North Whitehead have made heroic attempts to interpret religious concepts within the framework of an ontology required by a universe of process as portrayed in the sciences.
Such new theologies, while secular and relative in many ways, have also sought to take account of the sacred and the absolute. On the other side, Marxism, with Engels and Lenin's insistence on naturalistic or materialistic categories, has never given up the categories of the objective and the absolute. The secularizing of Christian theists learned in part from the worldly successes of Marxism, and the emphasis of the Marxists on a natural or secular absolute, brought Christian theism and Marxist humanism together at the level of theory. There they can begin to understand one-another, and dialogue may become fruitful, and practicably cooperative.
The standard of absolute, ultimate value for the Christian is a transcendent God as revealed in the Jesus Christ of history. Among persons this takes form of forgiving and redemptive love as exemplified in the fellowship of the faithful. Nevertheless, this value is said to be a pattern of personal being independent of such a fellowship and beyond history as its source and end. The status of Jesus Christ is thus both immanent and transcendent, both historical and super-historical. It is known by all those who, through faith from within and grace from without, receive revelation mediated through Scripture and Church tradition. This way of knowing is -authenticating.
For the Marxist, the standard of ultimate value is a pattern of events immanent in man and in history. Though it has neither a supernatural status nor lies beyond history, it transcends man's present state of development as an order of human fulfilment that is actualized in history past and future, and in history as a whole. This pattern is exemplified by the individual in relation to other persons and to the nonhuman world of nature, and by humanity as a species in relation to the world of nature. The concrete possibilities of the pattern of value can never be exhausted, since it is of the nature of historical events to be incomplete. This standard is known by the critical-practical method of dialectic, that is, interaction with other persons and with the world in order to transform them in accordance with the demands of human need.
It is a mistake to say either that Christian theology is wholly transcendental, or that Marxism's theory of value is wholly arbitrary or narrowly humanistic. Some Christian theologies, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, have stressed the absolute otherness of God; However such theologies could never consistently take account of the incarnation by which God not only is in history but takes its evils unto him, suffers, dies, and triumphs over the world's evils. Other Christian theologies, chiefly liberal-Protestant, have stressed the historicity of God, at times reducing Christ to the man, Jesus; however, such theologies have made Christianity simply one relative factor alongside many others. Christian orthodoxy, as established in the early Councils, maintained both positions in balance, i.e., the divine transcendence and historicity.
Similarly, there have been both extremely humanistic and extremely materialistic and necessitarian Marxists; the classical writings may be partially quoted in support of both. If not read carefully and comprehensively, the work of Marx could easily give the impression that values are relative only to class or to a given historical stage of development. His over-all position, however, is that, like facts, values are not only relative and subjective, but also non-relative and objective. Nevertheless, Marx is not always clear on the exact status of these values: are some values unconscious, either in individual or in society? In history, are their impersonal processes, such as machines and processes of industrial production, which participate in human value processes; in what sense are human values subtended by such historical processes or by processes in nature; and what is the relation to pre-human processes of the first distinctively human values arising out of social production?
Because of his concern with historical studies and political practice, the emphasis of Marx's writings is humanistic and historical. At the same time, he is quite aware of the wider background of nature within which history moves. It is this awareness, developed explicitly in Engels, which has led some to transform Marxism into a transcendentalism of nature, according to which nature or physical laws transcend history and completely determine it. This is a historical deviation from Marx, just as mechanical predestinarianism is an a-spiritual deviation from Christian orthodoxy. In both cases’ humanism is sacrificed to mechanism, and the human to the nonhuman, the free to the necessary, individual project to totalitarian control, and the unformed to the formed.
Within Christianity the impulse toward such transcendentalism has been associated with a variety of motives, such as the longing for unity in Augustine, a sense of vocation in history in Calvinism, and disapproval of liberal views in Jansenism. Marx believed that only a proper grasp of the objective existence of matter. Independent of us and in dialectical motion in both nature and history, can correct the tyrannies of a ‘false consciousness’, false idealism, and false materialism. This objective world with its ‘laws’ is required by Marx for human reality and value. Similarly, Christianity has taught that, except for establishing a correct relation to things other than us and transcending our own purposes, if it is left alone, cannot be saved from its own -destructive tendencies. In both cases, the irony is that in enforcing the transcendental law, people have sometimes generated bloodier tyrannies than the evils they intended to forestall or rectify.
In opposition to the individualistic and mechanistic cosmologies, Christianity and Marxism hold social or organicist views, in that both are philosophies of community or social order. Because of classes and class struggle, in Christian history socials order has been interpreted ambiguously both as elitist and as democratic in character. On the other hand, Marxism, as a product of late-feudal and modern revolutions, has merely been a theory of unambiguously democratic certainty, also thee deviations have yielded to the temptation of elitism. In fact, the main reason for Marxism's vehement rejection of religion was precisely its alliance with ruling elites and oppressive social orders, and its suppression of a democratic social order. Although the feudal Roman Catholic Italian Church had to reject both capitalism and Protestantism because together they opposed its economic and ecclesiastical power, like Marxism it was compelled in principle to reject all individualism and sectarianism because, from an organicist viewpoint, freedom and dissent carried to the point of fragmentation are great evils. On this point Christianity and Marxism are agreeing. At the same time, should the Church or a socialist society become an instrument of oppression, its prophets must arise to criticize it by its own best standards, and call it back to its historic mission of binding people together in mutual care and labour.
Because Christianity and Marxism also converge in belief in the non-mechanistic, creationist, spiritual attribution of quality values existent to the world and of its history, they give priority in their world-views to the domain of values over that of facts. This means that they look ultimately to practice, and not to theory alone, for the resolution of their problems, though for Christianity, unlike Marxism, this priority ultimately originates outside of history and nature. Both Christianity and Marxism see the universe as a value-universe that is orderly and hence intelligible, in its workings and responsiveness to human creative activity. Human, spiritual history represents the end and significance of natural history. This is finally understandable only by means of spiritual history, though not reducible to its categories. The history of nature displays a tendency toward the history of the human being, who, as the highest expression of value in nature and as ‘crowned with honour and glory’, is endowed, in turn, with ‘dominion . . . over all the earth’69 and with a responsibility for what happens upon it.
We are able to understand, control, appreciate, and thus unite with and elevate nature because we are formed of the same dust and ordered according to the same laws, though possessed of the higher law of spiritual freedom. For Marxism the value-standard is the immanent and ultimately intelligible dialectical law of development; For Christianity it is the transcendent will of God, which, though its natural laws can be understood, is ultimately unintelligible and must be accepted on faith. For the Marxist our transcendence is a function of our immanence since spirit comes from and depends upon dialectical matter; Whereas for the Christian, spirit has a chronological and logical priority over matter that is purely contingent. Here Marxism has struggled to give our transcendent spirit its proper place, whereas all metaphysical transcendentalism attenuates matter and human history. For both, that we must be guided by the provisional, relative ethics and by categorical, absolute morality. However, whereas for Marxism the latter are always progressively revealing it through the former as we approximate to full knowledge of the absolute, Christian thought has emphasized the discontinuity between natural theologies with virtuousness on the one hand, and revealed theology, on the other.
Marxism and Christianity share the view that transcending and determining the individual's present act is one's own past. One’s own imagined future as presently operative, other persons and things of one's particular community and human society, and the established world of nature. In the broad sense of the term, these are all social orders, each of which supports the other. Where for Marxism, however, this sociality in its ultimate dialectical character is a final metaphysical fact, for some traditional Christian theologies, at least, the sociality is contingent. The only necessary fact is Gods who, even as love, is not always thought to need a world outside him to love. For the Marxist humanist to whom love is equally mutual, in care and creation ever being transformed, love is historical if not a metaphysical necessity. We cannot conceive history without it; More accurately, our own natural history, as the only history we know and that matters, is in its essence the history of loving beings in their struggle to be and to develop their being and to help others to do so.
In Christian orthodoxy the ultimate value, or God, remains essentially unchangeable and impassible in relation to the world. In the Incarnation, the Divine became man, not in order to change or improve the divine nature-for that would be impossible-but either to provide a ransom for the Devil who had humanity in his power, or to pay for the infinite satisfaction for humanity's infinite sin against the divine, or to persuade, by sacrificial example, sinful persons to repent of their sins. In short, the divine entered history to reveal their perfection to imperfect people and to rescue them from the Fall that defines history. The Fall requires an Incarnation and Redemption, just as history requires a super-historical Creation. The Incarnation occurred because, according to the respective theories, God's supreme power, honour, and goodness had been violated by humanity and demanded vindication. Because God cannot suffer and people have fallen beyond -help, the significance and fulfilment of history lie not in history among people, but outside of history in God alone.
These pre-feudal and feudal views of the Atonement reflect the sharp distinction and separation between the lord and his subjects. The more humanistic view, suppressed but never destroyed by hierarchal power and thought, found God in the very depths of men's hearts, the Living Christ and Emmanuel in the midst of history, recurrently suffering, dying, and rising again to transform persons. The mystical, communal, reformative, apocalyptic, and revolutionary movements within Christianity were alive to the Presence of Christ in history, and derived their energy and inspiration from a sense of that Presence. Such movements fed the modern streams of socialist thought and German idealism, which having converged with such other streams as materialism and science issued, in turn, in the dialectical and historical materialism of Marx.
For Christian Theology the divine or ultimate value became human in order to display the divine more fully and to draw human beings to it. For Marxism, on the contrary, persons approached the divine, understood as an ultimate value already immanently within them as their human potential, in order to become more fully human and draw the divine unto persons. For the first, one is raised by God into eternity; for the other, humanity evolves by its collective struggle from prehistory into genuine human history. For both, there is a qualitative transformation into a new being and a fulfilled, non-alienated life. Once more, though the difference between Christian transcendence and Marxist immanence is evident, historically the difference is not a simple one. Alongside its emphasis on the impossibility of God, Christian theology has given an important place to the sufferings of Jesus, the historical fellowship of the visible and invisible Church as the body of Christ, and the historical continuity of the Church through its apostolic succession, its army of martyrs, and the communion of the faithful. Practically speaking, the belief in God's impossibility as the eternity of the realm of value did not always arrest activity in history; At times it spurred efforts to improve people and their conditions in history. Though this activity might not add to God's superabundant goodness, which for the orthodox Christian is finished and perfected, it might be a win for persons’ eternal bliss or participation in that goodness.
Similarly, while for the Marxist value is process and hence ever changing, it manifests at the same time a universal, absolute, objective structure embedded in its various manifestations. This structure does not lie beyond history, but is inherent in history to which it provides the directive norm. The process of the material dialectic rises ideals that both reflect and selectively guide humanity into interactive relations with the world in order to transform these ideals into actualities. Such interactions are themselves dialectic and therefore have awareness; They modify both man and the world so that values are embodied and new values conceived and actualized. Thus, whereas for the Marxist history is a material process of the realization of value, for the Christian value has already been realized outside of history. For the Marxist, the creating of values by which humanity transcends it is a function of natural history and is contained in it; For the Christian, this transcendent creating lies beyond the limits of history and nature. Whereas the human ideal for the Marxist is to struggle to contribute to the creative historical process, for the Christian the ideal is to seek and find God in eternity. The Christian stresses our dependence upon and determination by God, while the Marxist calls on us to be independent and -determinative.
Does this difference irreconcilably divide a religious perspective from a scientific one, and separate theism from humanism? ; Might, so, that it does stem from an ancient Platonic-Aristotelian way of conceiving things, as contrasted with the dialectical materialist approach to the world? If, then, that both are one in the same of a regional orientation course. In short, can a religious person hold to dialectical materialism, and can a dialectical materialist be religious? If the answer is no to both, then the remaining question is where the two can converge in belief and cooperate in practice.
In Christian thought evil has been understood as (1) a power or powers resistant to or destructive of God, (2) an unthinkable distribution in power that lays propositional to the order of God's creation, and (3) the absence of good (the view of St. Augustine and others) or of perfection (St. Thomas). Evil finds its expression in the world at large (symbolized by the figure of the Devil) and in the sin and falls of human beings (Genesis 2:4-3:24). In sin the arrogantly exalts it above its Creator, and His creation, refusing faith in God. Nonetheless, evil is dependent of the world and God. Embedded in the context of God's created order and creativity, it draws its existence and meaning from its relations within this wider domain of good. Evil obstruction and destruction in humankind represent forms of alienation from God, from, from others, and from nonhuman nature. Yet such sin and its alienation are not absolute and final. Human idolatry can be transformed if the sinner, in confession and repentance, will give him or her to God, who will grant forgiveness and restoration to a right order. God is the redemptive power in the world, at work in Christ and ‘reconciling the world unto Him’. He is overcoming evil with good.
Marxism's views of evil are kindred to this position, namely, that there is no absolute opposition between the progressive force in history and the reactionary force; in particular societies this is the opposition of the ruled to the ruling class. Some Marxists, like some Christians, have tended to say that evil people and groups in history will be judged, defeated, and cast into the outer darkness of damnation. In general, however, Marxism is neither Manichaean nor dualistic; it maintains that in the dialectical movements of history opposites are always united, interpenetrate, and transform one another. In this view, evil is transformed (aufgehoben) in the Hegelian sense, that is, in the moving order of history brought from a state of alienation to a state of creative contribution as far as possible.
So far as possible, Marx and Engels argued, socialism should be achieved by peaceful means; Each person should become a ‘midwife’ assisting in the birth of the new society. Struggle with resistant forces, though sometimes violent, cannot always be avoided, for violence will sometimes issue from the ruling groups intent on fighting against change. Marx's attitude toward evil is not radically different from Christian teaching according to which temptations will come, ‘but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes’. The sinner ought to cut off violently the offending member; the money changers ought by force to be driven from the temple. In the face of evil Christianity is not passive nor is Marxism terroristic, but both desire to maintain and to humanize the underlying order of society and history.
Our views of the universe and of history, which stretch beyond our limited capacity to perceive and to comprehend, are reflections and extensions of our own experiences. Our inner life, the images that we gather and store, the concatenations and developments of those images in the consciousness and unconsciousness, the construction, destruction, and reconstruction of connections between them, all represent the source of those world-views we present to ourselves and others. As the inner life or formation of personal identity is an introjection of the world, the construction of a picture of the world's identity is a projection of the inner life of man.
The earliest, most formative, and essential relation of ourselves to the world is our relation to another human being. The ideologies of many religions are ways of dealing with this relation in the most primordial terms of the relation of an infant to parentals motivations. Whether the Others be conceived as bountiful mother, a lawgiving father, etc., this relation is conceived in the religions as that of our dependence on the Other. In such a relation each person is seen to be what he or she is, namely a helpless child necessitates of a face-to-face relation of mutual recognition, confirmation, and creation. In the Judaic-Christian religious tradition, the Fall is the individual's separation from this state of innocent bliss through the intervention of our own autonomous activity. From time to time congratulatory and mere unregenerated -presumptuousness disrupts the relation held of mutuality, the bonds between and Other are voluntarily sundered? The consequence is separation, isolation, suffering, and spiritual death-in a word, the lovelessness of the abyss. The only way for us to be restored to the paradise of love is to acknowledge our dependence on the Other, to confess and repent of our prideful sin, and to commit ourselves once more to that relation ‘in whom we live and move and have our being.’
For the Jews, Jesus, and the early Christians, that relation of and Other was always personal: the Divine was defined as a relation whose terms were the and Other. The author of the letters of John put this matter succinctly: Beloved, let us love one-another; For love is of God, and he who love is born of God and know in Him. He who does not love does not know God; For God is love.
In the course of Christian history this ideal was sometimes distorted or displaced by a rigid, punitive morality that cowed people through superstition, cruelty, and fear of eternal punishment in the afflictions of hell. Though with the dissolution of civic life under the Empire, people were thrown back to their fundamental relations in families, villages and, in time, feudal estates, these relations remained brief and transient, forever threatened by famine, diseased and war. became estranged from Other. Accordingly, God was transformed into that Supremely Distant and Totally Other, who was simultaneously inscrutable and all-powerful and sent both good and evil alike on the world. With the periodic upsurge of mysticism among the solitary monks, he was defined as existing in the depths of the. In both cases the divine was always defined as an unknown being apart from persons because persons, being parted from their counterparts, could not know who he was. God remained the unconscious representation of the 's mystery to the; the divine was the alienated expression of human -alienation.
With the revival of commerce and urban and civic life in Europe in the 10th and 11th centuries, human being’s relational attributions were of one another had commenced a change, and where there is the given choice of change there is chance. Sustained by new food supplies and other necessities for physical existence, the whole institutional structure of secular life began to spread and elaborate it. The rediscovered the Other, and hence it, in the manifold dimensions of their mutuality: Commercial, industrial, political, linguistic, religious, aesthetic, sensuous, and scientific. The ‘revolutions’ of this secular transformation worked themselves out in every sphere of human life. Often they took two forms, though in much historical writing one form has obscured the other. The most successful form, whose development has been responsible for the writing of such history, was the revolution of the against the Other. This expressed the new mercantile movement seeking to break free from traditional feudal restrictions. In Theology, it appears in both human and divine manifestations as a conflict between the insurgent individual and autonomous and the Church or totalitarian Other. Hence emerged the preoccupation of philosophers at this time with the problems of the particular and the universal, mysticism and authority, pantheism and classical theism, Manichaeism and God's omnipotence, and the like. After capitalism, and its religion of semi-autonomous Protestantism, had secured a certain autonomy for the, these problems were superseded by a more detailed examination of the relation of sin and grace, and of the degree of human freedom alongside that of God's determination of humanity.
The subordinated form of revolution against the totalitarian Other is to be found in the mystical, communal, and apocalyptic sects, commencing with the heretical Cathari and continuing through the recurrent clerical and lay thinkers and movements who demanded and sometimes achieved reform. These groups, gripped by a vision of the early Christian community, wished to return to the pristine fellowship of and Other which had infused the life of that archetypical community. They longed to feel Christ as incarnate in people's relations one to another. Although they looked backward for inspiration and remained utopians in their idealism, they were the predecessors of modern secular socialism and the bridge between first-century Christianity and the contemporary world.
Like its antithesis, capitalism, Marxism defiantly asserts before the authoritarian Other and proclaims the modern hatred of arbitrary human limitation. At this point the similarity ends, for the capitalistic man still lives under the shadow of his feudal past and feels the vague urgings of conscience to store up merit in -regarding works. The capitalist ethic is only this harsh and Oedipal conscience made secular and respectable in the name of some human aims; it is a persistent will that makes the other pure means to as an end. For the last four centuries the principal problem of Western man has not been the inquisitions and crusades of the Christian Church, but the deprivations and wars inflicted by the capitalistic enterprise on humanity. This enterprise is driven by the need to negate the Other in all forms; it reincorporates in its own behaviour the harsh external conscience it negates; passing over remains arrested at the level of autonomy and initiative, unable and authenticate of the requisite trust of childhood affiliations or forward to the matured determination of toward Other. The destiny of the capitalistic spirit, consistently pursued, is the despondency and destructiveness of the fascist state. Forever directed against the Enemy, its ‘collective’ spirit is only a facade for the underlying emptiness of its component individuals. For them God the Other, the Enemy, is transformed into God the. Like the feudal Other, such is God, doomed to become an empty void, for its inability to relate lies beyond its redactional foundation as it to is meaningless.
Marx found the answer to this problem neither in that pathological affirmation of that fears the absorption of the in the Other, nor in that pathological fear of that seeks refuge and submission in the Other. Marx's answer was similar to that of the early Christians: and Other define and create one another in a developing relation of mutual care and responsibility. The directive of human living is to be found neither in the autonomous nor in some Other, whether earthly ruler or heavenly lord, whose nature and purpose are closed to us. It is to be found in the mass of exploited and dispossessed men, who in the particular and universal connections of and Other can form a world-wide community of interdependence: ‘an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all’ In its continuous unfolding such a community would combine the freedom of the with the conditioning care of the Other, the Immanence of individual or social achievement with the Transcendence of history, Independence with Interdependence, Individuality with Universality, and Activity with Receptivity.
In this light, Marxism and Christianity converge at the point of affirming the interdependence and mutual creation of and Other. When Christianity asserts that God is Love in such a relation, it means both (1) that God is the relation in virtue of which persons achieve a fulfilment that they alone cannot consciously achieve, and (2) that God is the personal being who is the source and end of the relation, and who accordingly must be the Supreme Other toward which our love is directed. For one to love another means implicitly to love that creative, transforming and saving relation that both enable one to love and make the other lovable. Our personal love for the other person, nonetheless very well intentioned, is always confined by immature development, -concern and defensive operations that must be broken and restructured by a process coming from beyond the powers of thought and will of the most virtuous person.
One of the stumbling blocks in this Christian thought is the essential fundamental whose associates leave ahead to the spoken exchange with ‘God,’ and through its substantiated possessions bequeathing to philosophy, and hence the tendency to conceive deities as fixed and removed from interpersonal relations. Teilhard's process cosmology has begun to overcome this by using the term ‘divine’ as an adjective that qualifies its operations. Marxism's naturalistic position is that the only personal Others whom we encounter are other persons like ourselves, and that it is a confusion and reification to identify our interpersonal relations with a supernatural or superhuman being. Nevertheless, Marxism implies that as individual persons we can relate to those concrete interpersonal relations of men whose ‘ensembles’ compose the very essence of humanity as a species-being78 and which are the very creators of history. That is, as individuals, we can either understand and facilitate those creative interpersonal relations or remain blind to them and obstruct them.
In Marxists as in Christian thought, these relations are not entirely of our own doing and thinking; They stand over against us and make and break us. Marxism agrees with Christianity that the true and rightful objects of our human devotion are not merely finite, individual people but the creative, loving relations we are enabled to sustain with them, persons come and go, but this creative relation abides. It is this capacity to enter such relations that we really cherish in others. Dating from Jesus' own teachings, like that on the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 and the parable of the Last Judgment in Matthew 25, there has been a humanistic, pragmatic tradition in Christianity. According to this what counts is, not a person's concepts, but one's responses too human need, that is, one's capacity to relate one’s affirmative others. This is the last judgment under which all stand, humanist and theist, Marxist and Christian.
Because Marxist and Christian agree on the essential nature of the -Other relation, they are already involved in dialogue. Nevertheless, a dialogue presupposes differences within unity, for it would be meaningless between two who are in accord in every respect. The differences between Marxist and Christian are ample enough to furnish vivifying contrast in the context of a basic agreement.
Christians understand the incompleteness, dependence, and receptivity of human nature; Accordingly, on the one hand, they value human humility, gratitude, reverence, submission, obedience, and confession, and, on the other hand, forgiveness, nurturance, succory, solace, and compassion. Marxists understand the phases of human fulfilment, independence, and activity as accordingly they value -reliance, resourcefulness, criticism, struggle, and ‘revolutionizing practice.’ Where Christians believe that a person is and remains a child or a finite creature who derives one's being and fulfilment from beyond one’s history, Marxists hold that the person, while not totally -sufficient, is in essence the maturing creator of history, and that this in turn is both the place and the goal of his fulfilment. Where Christians understand the threat to the in, its own isolation and solitude, and value both man's need of the other and the gift of the other that fulfills that need, Marxists understand the threat to the in the absorption or oppression of the other, and value the integrity of the. Where Christians discern in our fulfilment of grace or power at work beyond our own to generate advantageous favour in one's individual and collective life, Marxists emphasize the power of the person's own body and intellect to maximize ‘all right’ and minimize ‘wrong’. Where Christians see our limitations and alienations and tend to stress the tension between the actual and the ideal, Marxists see our possibilities and stress the conquest of his conditions and limitations.
A creative dialogue would have each participant express candidly, freely, and fully his perspectives, listen sensitively to the perspectives of the other, and differentiate and integrate so far as possible the perspectives thus expressed. The differentiation and integration must occur not only in individual persons, but in their relations one to another. In dialogue people change their perspectives in relation to each other; the very integration of qualities, forms, intentions, etc., which defines their personality is defined by its relation to the perspectives comprising the other. Furthermore, these contents of personality are not inert images entertained by an idle mind, but the very forms of our response to others and to the world; they pertain to the world upon which the personality intends to act. As one is known by one's fruits, the point of dialogue is not only to interpret the world but to change it. Hence, the final situation and test for dialogue between Christians and Marxists must be human society it, with its problems of war, poverty, political tyranny, racism, and cultural deprivation. The forms and extent of the exploitation of people on our planet are urgent enough to destroy us if we do not cooperate in discussion and action to solve them. They are deep and widespread enough to keep us all, theists and hedonist’s coincidingly busy and the human in our dealings with one-another for centuries to come.
Though it has taken different forms, the principle of dialogue is basic to both Christianity and Marxism: the Christian ‘speaking the truth in love’ to friend and opponent alike, and the Marxist engaged in the dialectic of critical practice. In the past, these two forms have sometimes seemed diametrically and irreconcilably opposed. The first did not vaunt it, but were patient and kind, and in suffering took the evils of the world upon it; The second strove strenuously to change and control the material conditions of the world. However, the present crisis of technology, of nuclear and other genocidal weaponry, and of massive poverty and indebtedness, has brought them closer together. Many Christians living in a secularized world can see the impact of material conditions, while many Marxists recognize the limits and dangers of force in human affairs. Not only has the threat of mutual destruction driven them together; they also share a common faith in the saving value of dialogue between people working in a common cause.
Both Christians and Marxists have also recognized the transforming and revolutionary nature of dialogue and dialectic between persons when it touches them not only in conversation but in action as the outcome and test of conversation. To interact expressively, sensitively, and creatively with other persons and the world is an act of great faith, for it means that one considers one's own system of ideas and values to be subject to the transformation that might emerge in such interaction, generating new insights and new ways of doing things. It means that the reality of the creative, transforming power working between persons and their world takes priority over what they as individual persons and institutions desire and conceive. It means that, although one cannot foresee how he or she and others will be changed, the relation of mutual trust in their communication and common labour provides them with a bond of security that will enable them to tolerate frustration, conflict, and suffering and to rejoice in new problems and truth. The demand and opportunity of our age are dialogue and common labour at all levels, between as many persons and groups as possible. We must learn either to live in this way or to die; we must learn either to love with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, or to face a physical and spiritual torment.
The readiness and willingness to enter dialogue and cooperation are growing on both sides. Recalling the influence of ‘that extraordinary figure’ of Jesus Christ on his political faith and his concentration since youth on ‘the revolutionary aspects of Christian doctrine and of Christ's thought’, Fidel Castro has said: In my opinion, religion from the political point of view is not anaesthetic or a miraculous remedy. It can be an opiate or a wonderful cure to the degree that it is used or applied to defend the oppressors and exploiters or the oppressed and exploited--depending on the way in which one approach the political, social, or material problems of the human being who, apart from theology or religious beliefs, is born into this world and must live in it.
From a strictly political point of view-and In believe that In know something about policies In even think that one can be a Marxist without giving up one's being Christian and can work united with the Marxist Communist to transform the world. The important thing is that, in both cases, they are sincere revolutionaries willing to overcome the exploitation of persons by others and to struggle for the just distribution of social wealth, equality, fraternity, and the dignity of all human beings -that is, to be the bearers of the most advanced political, economic and social consciousness, even though, in the case of the Christians, starting from a religious conception.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (USA) has called on the educated Christian to engage in ‘seriously studying’ Marxism. The Bishops criticize Marxism's atheism, anti-transcendence, the economic interpretation of alienation, as such is an exclusively human eschatology and hope, and the reduction of moral norms to social, revolutionary practice. For all this, they assert, that still the ideological outlook of the communist movement is not the only factor that determines cooperation on the part of Christians. In some areas of universally human concern collaboration with communist governments or communist parties has become a practical necessity. Due to the socialization that Pope John XXIII recognized as one of the distinctive characteristics of our time, modern life requires the cooperation of all men and women of good will. Citizens of a world united by unrestricted technology and instant communication, yet devoid of an effective international authority, has no choice but to seek common approaches and concerted action in attacking global problems.
As we, the very wide and long procession of people in history, do solve our problems and turn to new creative tasks, we shall know more fully the answers to our present questions about humanity and the divine. The very forms in which we pose the questions are limited by our own perspectives. Love moving into the creative dialectic of practice is the only path by which new positions can be attained and our eyes lifted to new horizons. Mysteries that mislead theory find their ultimate solution, if such can be found at all, in reflective practice: Faith without practice is dead. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart conceived, what is prepared for those who truly practice love, for now we see ourselves and our fulfilment only through a glass darkly, but in the triumphant future we shall see them face to face.
Nietzsche never offers his readers a lengthy, coherent discussion of the role of instinct in human life, but makes brief, frequently contradictory remarks on the subject throughout his works. Additionally, Nietzsche uses the term to refer to two distinct forms of human action - any non-conscious mental process and -created dispositions to act in which the latter are a species of the former and both are related to the instincts found in animals. In order to clarify Nietzsche's comments on instinct, all three of these usages will be examined in turn.
In common parlance, instinct refers to inborn patterns of behaviour in animals that respond to specific external stimuli. A cat playing with a mouse before killing it or a lioness hunting down a fleeing antelope does not seem to arise from the type of conscious, -aware choices possible to humans; they are representations of those animals' innate drives. Nietzsche notices and admires the grace and fluidity found in these unconscious animal actions, qualities that are absent in much of human behaviour, due to the misuse and overuse of reason by humans. Nietzsche regards the voice of reason as halting and uncertain and therefore sees that action arising from a conscious process of relational deliberation as similarly halting and uncertain. As a result, the proper wellspring of moral action for Nietzsche is not rational deliberation but something akin to animal instinct. Thus Nietzsche applies the term ‘instinct’ to human action sharing the grace, certainty, and spontaneity of animal action, i.e., to patterns of action originating in unconscious mental processes and to -created moral dispositions that have become subconscious.
In certain passages, Nietzsche uses the term instinct broadly to describe any unconscious mental processes. For example, in a discussion of the frequently-made distinction between the ‘true world’ and the ‘apparent worlds, Nietzsche writes, appearance is an arranged and simplified world at which our practical instincts have been at work; it is perfectly true for us, which is to say, we live, we are able to live in it.’ Because we created the ‘apparent world’ on a buried, subconscious level, Nietzsche considers it to be instinctual.
However, Nietzsche most frequently uses instinct to refer to a specific type of unconsciously mental process - those -created dispositions that unconsciously give rise to certain types of action. Although these instincts often originate in a conscious process initiated by the individual, they are then internalized and automated, thereby yielding fluid and spontaneous responses to moral situations. Those actions guided by instincts are acted unconsciously on a certain level and are thus deserving of their metaphorical connection to the concept of innate animal drives. It is, of course, this particular moral conception of instinct that is of direct interest to this thesis.
The vast majority of Nietzsche's commentary on instinct is focussed on its relation to rationality and consciousness. However, in, On the Genealogy of Morals, we find a rare explanation of the process of creating instincts embedded within Nietzsche's discussion of the development of the right to make promises. Nietzsche begins this discussion with an examination of the positive force of forgetfulness, which he equates to a door-keeper, a preserver of psychic order, repose, and etiquette’ and without which ‘there could be no happiness, no cheerfulness, no hope, no pride, no present.’ In opposition to this force is the ‘memory of the will,’ which requires that a man ‘must undergo the fundamentally learnt necessities to distinguish between events from chance ones, to think causally, to see and anticipate distant eventualities as if they belonged to the present, to decide with certainty what is the goal and the means to it, and in general be able to calculate and compute’. This memory of the will, then ‘makes men to a certain degree necessary, uniform, like among like, regular, and consequently calculable. This memory of the will that allows men to make promises is, in fact, a product of the socialization by the herd to the morality of mores, and so it gives the herd neither the right to make promises nor the true responsibility for those promises.
This is the background against which the instinct of responsibility to one's promises is created in the autonomous individual. In that individual, the conflict between forgetfulness and memory of the will that inhabits a turning-side paradigm of being outdone, such that he ‘has his own independent, protracted will and the right to make promises’. According to Nietzsche, there is in him ‘the proud consciousness, quivering in every muscle, of what has at length been achieved and become flesh in him, a consciousness of his own power and freedom, a sensation of humanity comes to completion’. So, ‘the proud awareness of the extraordinary privilege of responsibility, the consciousness of this rare freedom more than one and fate, has in this case penetrated to the depths and become instinct, the dominating instinct,’ which he without a doubt calls ‘his conscience’.
The instinct created in the sovereign individual is not a moral principle enjoining him to honour his promises; in fact, that ‘morality of mores’ is precisely that which the sovereign individual has overcome. Being that his responsibility flows from his conscience, rather than from social code of ethics to be deliberated about, the sovereign individual spontaneously honours his promises as a natural expression of his inner character.
In this example of the sovereign individual, three distinct elements can be highlighted in the instinct created -its origin, the process by which it is created, and the results, in action, of possessing the instinct. The instinct begins with the individual's conscious, almost bodily awareness of the unique and valuable capacity to honour promises that he created for him out of the morality of mores. This sense of -responsibility is, over time, deeply integrated into the very ‘soul’ of the sovereign individual to become his conscience, such that he could not separate him from it. In concrete action, this instinct result in a certain type of attitude and certain behaviours toward the promises he makes, without thought or question, he honoured those promises, not because of the opinions of his neighbours or fear of negative consequences, but because to do otherwise would be a travesty against his very person.
These three elements found in the instinct of responsibility, relating to its origin, the processes by which it is created, and the results in action, are also found, although in a more general form, in all Nietzschean instincts. First, instincts originate from within the individual, not in response too outside pressures; they are created, with a certain degree of consciousness, by autonomous agents. Second, over time, instincts go beyond the conscious awareness in which they arise, to the depths of subconscious. Finally, the result of this process is the fluid, spontaneous action characteristic of animals.
A central element in Nietzsche's conception of virtue is that genuine virtues are -created, in the sense that the impetus for their creation must lie within the individual rather than from external circumstance. In a comparison of the ‘higher man’ to the ‘herd animal’ in Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche describes the essential constitution of that higher man. The greatest man will be ‘the most solitary, the most concealed, the most divergent, the man Beyond Good and Evil, the master of his virtues, the superabundant of will’. He will possess ‘the creative fullness of power and mastery’ and ‘the ability to be different’. This comparison highlights the role of -creation and -mastery in Nietzsche's ideal; the higher man does not acquire his virtues from outside sources such as teaching or socialization; he creates his virtues for him. As a type of virtue, instincts followed the same pattern of being created by an initiated process and directed by the individual, although not necessarily controlled. Although we will want to make room for moral insights that are hastened by external events or individuals in our lives in our account of moral dispositions, Nietzsche's focus on -determination and autonomy will prove useful to that account of moral dispositions.
Nietzsche devotes much attention to the second element of instinct -the process by which instincts are created particularly to the complicated relationship between instinct, consciousness, and the subconscious. In essence, Nietzschean instincts originated in conscious awareness and then transform of becoming validated in the affirmation of the internalized and automated, such that we are no longer particularly aware of possessing or acting on them. The fact that instincts come to reside deep within the individual, rather than on the surface of consciousness makes them far superior to any conscious moral principles. They regulate action better, because they do not depend upon the fumbling deliberation of reason at the moment of moral choice. Additionally, because our instincts contribute to an individual's inner person, they are authentic and genuine in a way that any conscious moral theory adopted or absorbed from others will never be.
Contrary to common thinking, conscious awareness of our motives, for Nietzsche, is not necessarily a virtue. In fact, he regards that which is not consciously intentional in an action as more revealing than an individual's deliberate or professed intentions. In a discussion of the view that the value of an action lie in the intentions behind it, Nietzsche writes, ‘today, when among us immoralists at least the suspicion has arisen that the decisive value of an action resides precisely on that which is not intentional in it, and all that in it that is intentional, of all that can be see, known, 'conscious,' consciously still belongs to its surface and skin - which, increase excessively upon the smooth exteriors, in that it betrays something but conceals still more?’ This perspective on the meaningfulness and value of intentionality even leads to the idea that the reasons for which an instinct was created, i.e., the original intentionality of an instinct, is not particularly important. Because instincts lose much of their intentionality in the process of internalization, they are not subject to the great suspicion Nietzsche accords to consciousness and reason.
The will to power, though related to Freud’s explorations of aggression and destruction, does not contain or imply a death instinct, however, there is a notion of death o sorts involves in the sense of the individual’s creative, expansive growth involving a willingness to die to the in its current form, that is, one’s expansion and may break the boundaries of the as currently constituted and experienced. Zarathustra states that, Yours [is] what it would do above all else, to create beyond it? Also, least of mention, has affinities. We use the realm of Eros. Kaufmann suggests that the will to power have aspects or manifestations that can be described as a creative Eros, and, quoting from Plato’s Symposium, ‘the love of generation and of birth in beauty,’
Of course, Nietzsche recognized the aggression instincts and will to power in various forms and manifestations, including sublimated mastery, all of which ae prominent in Feud’s writings. We can also note in Freud’s description of the power and importance of rational thinking and scientific laws. However ‘bright’ the world of science is and however much reason and science represent the highest strength possessed man, to a withholding enemy that imposes ‘strict discipline with ‘relentlessness and monotony’. However much this language pertains to a description of universal problems in human development, one of reason as relentless, monotonous disciplining force to which he reluctantly (labouriously?) submit.
Nietzsche's views on intentionality and his positive evaluation of instincts are well-integrated into his broader perspective on the role of reason in moral action, such that the former cannot be understood but through the latter. Throughout his works, particularly The Will to Power, Nietzsche adamantly criticizes the common ideal of moral action achieved through a rational, methodical process of deliberation. Nietzsche characterizes this view as the idea that ‘one must imitate Socrates and counter the dark desires by producing the permanence of daylight -the daylight of reason. One must be prudent, clear, bright at any cost; Every yielding to the instincts, to the unconscious, leads downward’. Rational deliberations in moral choice, according to Nietzsche, are ‘merely tentative’ and ‘show a far lower standard of morality’ than thinking and action directed by instincts. Conscious thinking is pained, labourious, and unwieldy; it ought to be considered only a stepping stone toward moral action, as an aspect of human life to be overcome, through the creation of instincts. In fact, at times, Nietzsche advocates that we do more than simply use instincts to go beyond rationality and consciousness, that actually lose our awareness of the reasons for those instincts. Nietzsche writes ‘we must in fact seek the perfect life where it has become least conscious (i.e., least aware of its logic, its reasons, its means and intentions, its utility) the demand for a virtue that reasons is not reasonable’.
Despite this strong language against any intentionality in moral action, Nietzsche is not wholly rejecting the power of reason in moral decision-making. He is vehemently opposed to the ‘return to nature’ advocated by Rousseau, because it constitutes regression rather than its overcoming. In the section of Twilight of the Idols entitled ‘Progress in my sense,’ in which Nietzsche differentiates him from Rousseau, he writes, ‘In too speak of a 'return to nature' although it is not really a going-back but a going-up - up into a high, free, even frightful nature and naturalness’ That ‘going-up’ represents the overcoming of both reason and animality made possibly by -created instincts. In other words, Nietzsche's disdain for reason and conception of virtue as arising from instinct does not constitute ‘a reversion to the level of the 'beast of prey’.
Nietzsche's view that instincts represent an overcoming of reason, rather than a regression into the animality, tempers some of his more extreme denunciations of reason. For example, Nietzsche comments that the ‘absurd overestimation of consciousness’ and the association of the unconscious with ‘falling back to the desires and senses’ and ‘becoming the primordial animal’ by philosophers resultants in the erroneous view that ‘every advance lies in an advance in becoming conscious, whereby every regression in becoming unconscious’ Given his sharp criticism of Rousseau, Nietzsche ought not be understood as advocating the exact opposite perspective, i.e., that blind unreason is necessarily an advance over consciousness. Reminisces for arguing that the process of becoming less conscious through creating instincts is a great advance over attempts rationally to calculate the moral course of action. Nevertheless, there are aspects of Nietzsche's attacks on reason that are deeply troublesome to his account of instincts because they prevent him from distinguishing between emotions and instincts.
Although most of Nietzsche's discussion of instinct focuses on the relationship between instinct and reason, he does occasionally speak of creating instincts through the passions. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche writes, ‘once you suffered passion and called them evil. Nonetheless, it now seems that you have only your virtues left: They grow out of your passions. You commended your highest goal to the heart of these passions: Then they became your virtues and passions you enjoyed’. In this instance, instincts are not created by the usual process of animalizing reason, only the spiritualising of the passions. Thus, Nietzschean instincts are not necessarily created by one and only one process; There are variational possibilities in that their becoming a process of creation
Moving now from the origin and creation of instincts to the final element of instinct, Nietzsche regards the type of action made possible through instincts as the fluid and spontaneous action found in animals. Nietzsche's basic perspective is summed up in his expressed words that genius resides in instinct, as well of belonging goodness also. One acts perfectly when one is to act instinctively. Moral action is the natural outcome of a set of healthy, well-formed instincts.
In his book Nietzsche, Richard Schacht illustrates the animal-like grace of Nietzsche's conception of instinctual action through a comparison between instinct and the body's ‘knowledge’ of a certain set of movements. In learning physical tasks, such as typing or playing musical instruments, Schacht writes, one may be said to know how to do them once one has learned how to execute certain rudiments of them, but so long as one's mastery of them is only partial, one's performance will be halting, tentative, uncertain, and flawed. One is still in the position of having to think about how various procedures are and must be mediated by one's consciousness.
Only when one has been able to ‘dispense with the mediation of conscious deliberation and reckoning at each step of the way’ does ‘one's engagement in the activity [take] on the appearance of complete 'naturalness'’. A person who has made an activity ‘second nature’ or ‘instinctual’ does not lose consciousness, accept, that Schacht points out, often experiences ‘a higher degree of psychic intensity and sensitivity’. Instinct creates this naturalness in action; acting morally becomes second nature, intrinsic to whom we are, rather than something that reasons must force us to do.
Nietzsche's theory of instincts, then, can be summed up as follows. The work of the reason is hesitant and labourious, while animal instincts are blind and lacking in -direction and -control. Instincts unify the spontaneity and beauty of animal action with the intentionality and -mastery of rational action, by internalizing and automatizing certain types of moral actions . . . The result is that, ‘so long as life is ascending, happiness and instincts are one’.
Nietzsche's account of instinct, as compelling at it is, faces serious challenges. To begin with, the moral stratification of men into higher and lower types, which we find throughout his ethics, also permeate his theory of instincts, thus unnecessarily limiting the application of his theory to a few rare individuals. A more significant problem, however, lies in Nietzsche's view that the genuinely moral agent ought not be aware of the reasons, logic, and intentions of his instincts, because it prevents Nietzsche from differentiating between mere emotional responses and genuine instincts, as well as hampers and severely complicates the development of a real method by which old instincts can be overturned in favour of new ones. Although the problems posed by Nietzsche's focus on moral stratification within humankind can be resolved, the unconsciousness that Nietzsche advocates placing between moral action and the reasons for that action will strip Nietzsche's theory of instincts of much of its force and power.
(In) Nietzsche's assumptions of moral stratification depends upon a division of men into higher and lower types, into the master and the slave or into the beast of prey and the lamb. This form of stratification is almost deterministic; The herd and the nobles are set, well-defined groups in which individuals remain. There is no gradual process of moral growth, only perhaps the rare man who breaks free from the ‘morality of mores’ to becomes a higher form of life. This stratification permeates Nietzsche's perspective on instincts, because instincts are so intimately bound up with the ideals of control and -mastery found in the supramoral individual. In the discussion of the sovereign individual who creates an instinct of responsibility in On the Genealogy of Morals, for example, such an individual, clearly rising to overcome the morality of custom, is a rare phenomenon. The creation of such an instinct requires such an attenuated sense of -awareness and -mastery that it be only attainable to a few; the rest, ‘the feeble windbags who promise without the right to do so,’ do not have the power even to create such an instinct for themselves.
This moral stratification is unwelcome essentially because a normative account of moral decision-making ought to have a wider audience than the rare supramoral individual, who, in all likelihood wouldn't need or want a philosopher's judgment of how moral choices ought to be made. Those ‘lower’ individuals who struggle with moral choices might be able to use instincts in order to become more -determined and spontaneous in their actions. Placing Nietzsche’s moral stratification on the periphery of his theory of instincts would not be particularly difficult, however, such that, although the creation of instincts would necessitate some degree of -disciple, sovereignty, and -awareness, an individual would not have to be fully supramoral in order to benefit from the power of moral instincts. The power, efficacy, and authenticity of these instincts would, in all probability, be dependent upon degree to which Nietzschean virtues were present in that individual. Nevertheless, instincts could still be effectively created and used to achieve moral action, even by that Nietzsche would consider being lesser men
Differentiating Nietzschean instincts from simple emotions are found in Nietzsche's ethics, however, is not the most formidable challenge to Nietzsche's account of instincts. It is Nietzsche's view that ‘we must in fact seek perfect life where it has become least conscious, i.e., least aware of its logic, its reasons, its means and intentions, its utility that is most troublesome, emphasis added. Such a gulf between the origin of instincts in consciousness and the unconscious expression of them would prevent individuals from properly and easily differentiating between simple (non-moral) emotional responses and genuine, -created instincts. Because our passions do resemble instincts and, in fact, our instincts can be seen as a particular type of passion, we must remain aware, on some level, of the intentionality behind instincts in order too properly separate instinct from emotional responses that do not provide the moral guidance as instincts do. Additionally, critical examination of the instincts possessed by individuals and the entire process of overturnings old instincts in favour of new ones would be impossible with the separation of instinct from intentionality that Nietzsche advocates.
The passions do not hold the moral weight of Nietzschean instincts. Emotional responses, whether in the form of pleasure or blind rage, do not necessarily reflect an individual's deeply-held moral values; They often arise from socialized beliefs or superficial attitudes. We can often only differentiate instincts form (other) passions by retaining an awareness of the purpose of the instinct, of the reasons for creating the instinct for ourselves. Instincts are consciously created in order to serve a specific moral function, namely enabling spontaneous moral action in response to specific types of situations. It is, however, precisely this critical consciousness and intentionality that Nietzsche believes individuals ought to separate themselves as exampled from its subjective matters and physical theories. Based on his comments in The Will to Power, we ought to become completely unconscious as to the reasons why we have the instincts we do. However, if we do make ourselves unaware of the justification for our instincts, then we cannot determine whether any particular emotional response is the result of caprice, socialization, or instinct. Therefore, although we still may act spontaneously, with animal-like grace and speed, the awareness and intentionality behind our actions vanquish as we no longer have a method of moral decision-making which results in moral outcomes of choices.
It is not the case that an account of moral dispositions requires an individual to be aware, at any given time, of the reasons for the dispositions she has or even to know when she is acting on those dispositions. Still, an individual must have that knowledge available to her consciousness in order to engage in the -reflection required for genuinely -directed moral decision-making.
This position taken by Nietzsche on the distance that ought to arise between instincts and intentionality also would effectively prevent the moral growth naturally resulting from an overturning of old, obsolete instincts in favour of new, life-relevant ones. Although many of our moral dispositions remain constant through changes in our lifetimes, others are refined or completely overhauled. New dispositions are constantly created in the wake of new relationships, new jobs, or simply the fact of growing older. An individual might, for example, realize that she is too argumentative in intellectual discussions, thus impeding good philosophical discussion. In response to this realization, she might try to cultivate an instinct for joint philosophical exploration and jettison the old instinct for appositional debate. These sorts of changes are inherent to life and must be taken into consideration, even promoted, in a normative account of moral decision-making.
If however, the ideal that we are trying to achieve is a lack of awareness of the intentionality behind our instincts, then we have no standard by which to judge whether our instincts are serving us or whether they have put us on the path of descending life. We could not reflect upon what our instincts were created to achieve and whether they are actually achieving results for which they were designed. For example, under Nietzsche's ideal, a woman who was being taken advantage of by ‘friends,’ because of her instinct for benevolence and generosity toward others, would not be able to examine and change what was wrong with the moral situation. Because she had driven her reasons for her benevolence from her consciousness, she would not be able to reflect upon at what end benevolence was aimed to accomplish or examine the ways in which that instinct was harming her. Perhaps she could engage in a long chain of analytical reasoning to determine how best to modify her instinct, but at that point having retained some awareness of the intentionality behind her instincts would have been more useful for her.
Nietzsche could respond to this particular criticism by arguing that old instincts are easily overturned by new ones. Nonetheless, that without any awareness of the intentionality of instincts, it is unclear why new instincts would arise in the first place or how an individual could tell, if they did emerge, whether they were essentially in the service of life than the old instincts.
These criticisms of Nietzsche, which arise out of his strong stand against rationality and conscious awareness in ethically decision-making, do not fully undermine his account of moral dispositions. His insistence that instincts are -created and freely chosen, rather than unconsciously absorbed from society, is essential to an account of moral dispositions that values -determination and autonomy. Additionally, the connection that Nietzsche makes between instinct and the smoothness and spontaneity of animal action is essential for a conceptualization of instinct as integrating rational judgment and emotional motivation. Nevertheless, an alternative to the relationship that Nietzsche construes between moral dispositions and conscious intentionality would greatly strengthen the account of moral dispositions. Aristotle offers such an alternative, for he posits a much stronger connection between moral dispositions and rational deliberation.
The psychological genre as it relates to sociologically and medicinal matter has gained an increasing amount of scientific approval. Impartiality and the scientific method are both integral components to a psychologist's mode of practice. However, even the most esteemed of psychologists can only speculate at what is to understand that the human being is to interaction in the way they do. Absolutes play no function in psychology. Everything is relative and open to conjecture. Theologians give us their visions or thoughts about life. In the field of psychology, there have been many different regions of interest and speculation. Psychoanalysis has been the pinnacle of arenas to examine within the vast field of psychology. Psychoanalysis has been an area that Carl Jung has explored, critiqued and perfected in his lifetime. Jung was not alone in his exploration of the psyche; there were many other psychoanalytic perspectives as well. Carl Jung was said to have been a magnetic individual who drew many others into his circle. Sigmund Freud was Carl Jung's greatest influence. Although he came to part company with Freud in later years, Freud had a distinct and profound influence on Carl Jung's psychoanalytic perspectives, as well as many others. Within the scope of analytic psychology, there exist two essential tenets. The first is the system in which sensations and feelings are analysed and listed by type. The second has to do with a way to analyse the psyche that follows Jung's concepts. It stresses a group unconscious and a mystical factor in the growth of the personal unconscious. It is unlike the system described by Sigmund Freud.
Analytic psychology does not stress the importance of sexual factors on early mental growth. The best understanding of Carl Jung and his views regarding the collective unconscious are best understood in understanding the man and his influences. In keeping with the scope and related concepts of Carl Jung, unconscious is the sum of those psychic activities that elude an individual's direct knowledge of him or her. This term should not be confused either with a state of awareness, that is, a lack of knowledge arising from an individual's unwillingness to look into him or her (introspection), nor with the subconscious, which consists of marginal representations that can be readily brought to consciousness. Properly, unconscious processes cannot be made conscious at will; Their unravelling requires the use of specific techniques, such as free association, dream interpretation, various projective tests, and hypnosis.
For many centuries, students of human nature considered the idea of an unconscious mind as contradictory. However, it was noticed by philosophers such as St. Augustine, and others, as well as early experimental psychologists, including Gustav Sechner, and Hermann Von Helmholtz, that certain psychological operations could take place without the knowledge of the subject. Jean Sharcot demonstrated that the symptoms of post-traumatic neuroses did not result from lesions of the nervous tissue but from unconscious representations of the trauma. Pierre Janet extended this concept of ‘unconscious fixed ideas’ to hysteria, wherein traumatic representations, though split off from the conscious mind, exert an action upon the conscious mind in the form of hysterical symptoms. Janet was an important influence on Carl Jung, and he reported that the cure of several hysterical patients, using hypnosis to discover the initial trauma and then having it reenacted by the patient, was successful. Josef Breuer also treated a hysterical patient by inducing the hypnotic state and then elucidating for her the circumstances that had accompanied the origin of her troubles. As the traumatic experiences were revealed, the symptoms disappeared. Freud substituted the specific techniques of free association and dream interpretation for hypnosis. He stated that the content of the unconscious has not just been ‘split off,’ but has been ‘repressed,’ that is forcibly expelled from consciousness. Neurotic symptoms express a conflict between the repressing forces and the repressed material, and this conflict causes the ‘resistance’ met by the analyst when trying to uncover the repressed material. Aside from occasional psychic traumas, the whole period of early childhood, including the Oedipus situation or the unconscious desire for the parent of the opposite sex and hatred for the parent of the same sex, has been repressed. In a normal individual, unknown to him or her, these early childhood situations influence the individual's thoughts, feelings, and acts; in the neurotic they determine a wide gamut of symptoms which psychoanalysis endeavours to trace back to their unconscious sources.
During psychoanalytic treatment, the patient's irrational attitudes toward the analyst, referred to as the ‘transference,’ manifests a revival of old forgotten attitudes toward parents. The task of the psychoanalyst, together with the patient, is to analyse his resistance and transference, and to bring unconscious motivations to the patient's full awareness. Carl Jung considered the unconscious as an autonomous part of the psyche, endowed with its own dynamism and complementary to the conscious mind. He distinguished the personal from the collective unconscious; the later he considered to be the seat of ‘archetypes’ -universal symbols loaded with psychic energy.
As new approaches to the unconscious came about, Jung introduced the word association test, that is, spontaneous drawing, and his own technique of dream interpretation. His therapeutic method aimed at the unification of the conscious and the unconscious through which he believed man achieved his ‘individuation,’ the completion of his personality. Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung's concepts of the unconscious have provided a key to numerous facts in psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, and sociology, and for the interpretation of artistic and literary works. (Ellenberger) Hypnosis has contributed largely to our understanding of psychoanalysis. Carl Jung understood this and utilized hypnosis throughout his many experiments and tests. In recent times, our understanding of the unconscious has been expanded due to experimental hypnosis and as well projective psychological tests. It has been observed that Jung's relations with the other significant people in his life appear to have been as unsatisfactory as his own. It has been observed that Jung despised his pastor father as a weakling and failure and had mixed feelings about his mother. After Jung broke with Freud, his former collaborator and mentor, Jung went on to develop his own psychological system. This incorporated a number of key concepts that included the collective and conscious, the repository of mankind's psychic heritage, and realm of the archetypes -inherited patterns in the mind that exist through time and space. Then there were the anima/animus, the image of contrasexuality in the unconscious of each individual, and shadow, the repressed and wanted aspect of a person. There is also the theory of psychology types, i.e., introverts, and extraverts, which influenced William James' dichotomy of tough and tender minded individuals. Jung also developed his theory of individuation, which holds that each individual's goal in life is to achieve his own potential. These theories on the different approaches to psychoanalysis each have valid points. As such, theories will always have to deal with paradigmatic assumptions. These are ideas that the theorist has taken for granted as facts. An example is Freud's notion that women suffer from a lack of -esteem or worth all their lives because of penis envy. Freud's assumption possibly could have been derived for being merely because of the time when he lived, and it was a time when women were treated as second class citizens. Freud's assumption that sex is the driving force behind everything could also be a product of his times. Sexual feelings were often repressed. The problem with paradigmatic assumptions is that each person grows up in a different culture and some theories do not apply to everyone. The problem with psychology remains that it is not an exact science. Though Jung's ideals may have been moulded by Freud and further critiqued and perfected, it may further be perfected in the future. Such is the arena of science, an ever-changing, dynamic field that undergoes much scrutiny and much refinement.
All we really know about feeling is: it is only expressed within our own minds, the feelings we understand as sensory impressions seem to draw our attention to the material world around us; pain leaves us little choice to focus on anything other than the unique material object in the real world, our own body, and sensibilities that spread off the feeling by equally establishing by its owing reflections that does not endure its own pain nor neurological affiliations, indicate the current emotional tone of our own thoughts and consciousness. While this is probably, all unconscious understandings need immediately to grasp a difference between feelings representing real conditions and their meanings to ourselves, we can only share a model of unconscious thought processes if these differences are translated into rational terms. If we discount moralized rationalizations of feeling experiences to isolate a purely rational conception of what our feelings are trying to tell us, there is no choice in where to look for the meanings that will replace them; we must turn to an introspective evaluation of feeling already recognized as leading to an individuated personal value structure. An awareness of this possibility always seems advisable when considering the worth of unshareable ideas, but there is something a little different about personal rationalizations of profoundly instinctual values - accepting them as true doesn’t entail denial of established rational conceptions there are any conceptions of emotionally felt meanings that meet the standards for shareable rational truth. All we are doing when considering unconscious values as they will be described in this model, is looking for a way to overcome an impasse created when obviously really human experiences are beyond representation in purely rational terms - and if this sound’s familiar, we need look no further than moral values to find an everyday example of already doing it. This is where the risk of individuation in an investigation like this can be found, in individuating our personal perspective on the moral meanings of emotion experiences. It’s an important factor to be sure, but whether one sees the source of our moral sense in an innate human conscience, or ressentiments embedded in our personal value structures during early childhood (as this model does), by the time a mind can understand the complexities of the conception that will follow, if shared moral norms are not believed to be unquestionably necessary in human interactions (as this model’s supports), they will never be. This leaves us with only one real issue to deal with; if we don’t look into our own mind for an understanding of instinctually formulated feeling values, we must live with the conception our rational thoughts will produce - ‘one would like to say: Human mental life can’t be described at all; it is so uncommonly complicated and full of scarcely graspable experiences.’ While this is probably the most reasonable position, a highly rational mind can take when considering the human mental experience, this comment by Ludwig Wittgenstein is not typical of his viewpoint. His carefully considered comments and questions more often point out the rationally understandable aspects of confusing mental experiences; Chosen between the complications and complex relationships is the existent simultaneous presence that await to feelings, experiences, and consciously understandable values, whereby a collection of his observations (quotes without notation of an author) are included in the following. However, understanding unconscious values as this model sees them actually employed in unconscious thought, means each of us must find our own way to grasp them as they are actually experienced in our minds; Which leaves us with the uncomfortable prospect of looking for them in a form that cannot be communicated to, or verified by, anyone else. Science will eventually explain the how, why and what of the mortality will innately assemble by some sorted cognation for life will never exhaust it, and those who have no immediate need for an answer can await the presence to the future, for its careful methods to come up with a clear description everyone can share. In the meantime, those of us with a more pressing need can avoid an entirely personal interim understanding by relating what we find to mental phenomena we can safely assume are, in a general sense, the same in our own minds as they are in others; Like the mental image/feeling relationship Wittgenstein’s comments, and Nietzsche’s idea of ressentiment as well, seem to establish as something we all find in consciousness at times. It would have the course of been comforted by knowing what physical processes are creating the things of our consciousness, and what sensory ability then makes us aware of them, but this model aspires to nothing more than a description of the role mental phenomena play in helping us deal with reality. Consequently, its conception of underlying physical processes can be metaphorical rather than real.
There are any number of philosophical and theological reasons we can find for the existence of feelings in consciousness and yet, if we leave emotion aside for a while, one seems particularly relevant here; Because ‘pain could be regarded as a kind of tactile sensation’, but it is not what we would describe as a tactile experience in the realm of consciousness. All tactile experiences in a given moment - from the pain of a toothache, to sensations arising from a breeze passing over exposed skin - are included in the flood of real time impressions continuously bringing us a comprehensive grasp of current real conditions. Simultaneously representing all of it in the images and feelings of consciousness cannot give us our best understanding of reality however; it would overwhelm our current thoughts with mostly commonplace data; while feeling pain like any other tactile impression would inhibit our ability to isolate an immediate personal threat in current sensory data. A process that edits and separates the sensory impressions coming to consciousness must exist somewhere in our thought processes, because the results are apparent when we compare a recollection with an original visual impression - ‘the tie-up between imaging and seeing is close, but there is no similarity.’ What we actually see is more comprehensive and robust, while recalled images seem clearly to highlight the data we need to understand an object’s meaning in the context of the thought it’s related kin by some sortal formality that is addressed only through and by it. Because the process for accomplishing this is beyond conscious recognition, it’s an unconscious function that presumably would, in a model of thought employing only one thought process, similarly simplify representations for all of this in the language of unconscious thought as well. Whether simplified or not felt values would still be indistinct, distracting and confusing and yet, if the sensory information being confused highlights what’s instinctually important, unconscious thought would then be a medium in which a limited number of currently meaningful feeling values are unavoidably mingled, in essence confused, to establish a combined impression of everything being sensed in a given moment (reality as a whole). This perspective makes what we feel in consciousness much more than an accidental by-product of brain processes; it’s a meaningful representation of current conditions that extends our human cause and effect logic, by juxtaposing values that cannot be quickly related to each other with physically connected memory associations. We can physically connect them if they become consistently relevant to each other, creating another among the countless experience-proven sets of associations existing in our memories, but when unusual conditions arise, we cannot rely on rigidly ordered remembered data; we need sensory qualities tailored to represent unfamiliar conditions. In such circumstances, an ability to find and understand what is currently important is paramount, so both feelings and images alike would be more clearly understandable if they did not include all of the information gathered by our senses, as is actually the case when images in our minds do not include enough information to get confused with concurrent pictures of the world. Whether it’s the difference, we see in actual and recalled visual images, or one we feel between tactile sensations representing a breeze and pain, the mind and brain seem to share a closed-loop representational system for sensory data that is closely related to, but not identical with, the full range of sensations produced by sensory organs.
Individual values in the mind/brain representational system must be created and edited somehow, and without proof of how it really works, the best we can do is represent this process in a way that accounts for what we do understand about these processes. We know the values of consciousness are related to physical brain processes somehow, because people who experience physical brain (memory) damage also experience a change, of one sort or another, in the value mix coming into their consciousness. Our model assumes this mind/brain relationship exists at the level of individual memories - each physical memory being converted into a representation compatible with the intangible things of thought. Whatever information our senses discover begins its existence as personal knowledge when an energetic sensory signal interacts with the living brain tissues this model describes as perceptual memories. As a physical process the assumption is this: sensory information reaches the brain as many specific and separate signals, each of which is an elemental part of a noticeable quality - a vertical line would arrive as a set of specific elemental parts (signals) that in a rational sense, would come together to represent understandable line qualities like width, orientation, duration and colour. Each elemental part of a noticeable quality is stored in a separate perceptual memory site retaining a representation of that part alone; so any sensory quality or object we may require in unconscious thought, or even conscious images, is constructed from an associated set, or pattern of these one-element memory sites. Because individual memory sites can store only a single, very basic elemental part of sensory data in this scheme, any memory in a pattern representing one object can be part of any other object (pattern) that includes the same elemental part - a line element representing part of a curve in the pattern representing our sensory grasp of an egg’s shape, would represent the same part of a curve in all others.
Translating these wholly physical events into the values of consciousness is a role played by feelings that are generated when the tiny energy potentials of physical brain processes stimulate a microscopic memory site. It’s a feeling only strong enough to contribute a consciously indistinct feeling value to consciousness, and to keep descriptions of these representations of memory stimulations clearly separate from familiar, consciously understandable sensory qualities - loud, red, sour, smooth or toothache - the feelings arising from memory stimulations, which this model sees as individually too faint for even an unconscious grasp, are described as perceptual feelings. Because they originate in groups representing the pattern of physical memories needed to store all of the individual elemental parts of a particular sensory quality, the pattern of perceptual feelings produced would, if we could isolate them, represent the same sensory quality as a value in the feeling language of unconscious thought. This conception describes a memory site like any other object; a thing make real through sensory impressions of it, but the sensory ability that detects the feelings we find in our consciousness remains beyond our understanding. Still, whatever eventually does prove to be the mechanism bringing us an awareness of our own feelings and consciousness must conform to a basic truth of human knowledge: in order to communicate the existence of anything we must eventually ground our proof in an ability to grasp its reality with our senses - we must be able to feel it. ‘We learn to describe objects, and thereby, in another sense, our sensations.’ In fact, the only mental values not already represented by feelings of one sort or another are rational images, facts, and ideas. If this outline of how they are created proves to be a valid metaphor only allows one to an alliance with the -gratification. Yet rational values will join everything else in reality and become conceivable as essentially feelings as well. ‘The ground of perception precedes all intellectual things, all philosophy, and it is the first assumption linking inner and outer things simultaneously . . .
Perception remains a largely mystical experience when we recognize the impressions of reality we see in our minds are mental images created to represent them in thought, rather than pictures of it. Because the physical process that creates them remains unknown, this proposal for how thought works are limited to the mental representations, we find in our thoughts - one value structure to represent reality, and another for our knowledge of it. Because it is by compatibility with an underlying language that must include both. In the language of unconscious thought proposed by this model, vanishingly faint perceptual feelings represent everything we can sense in the real world of objects, events and ideas - from chemical adjustments in the brain, a change in the quality of light entering the eye, to the softness, weight, taste or pain we feel when in contact with an external object. They represent the truth about reality in a multitude of elemental bits that form patterns unconscious thought processes then employ as for differing sensory value qualities; As a result, the patterns they form don’t represent distinctly different ideas like we find in rational thoughts; they are feelings. If we try to keep track of the feeling value (pattern) representing a particular sensory quality, or the collections of patterns representing different objects in each of many concurrent thoughts, the feeling values of unconscious processes run into the same problem rational processes would if we could think several simultaneous conscious thoughts, all using the same value structure -confusion. Our model’s solution to his problem will eventually dispense with the idea of separate unconscious thoughts and values altogether; in a sense, embrace confusion by mixing everything we can feel into a single pattern representing all of the information currently being gathered from reality, current thoughts, and the endless supervision of body controls carried out in unconscious processes as well. It’s an undivided reality represented by all perceptual memories currently in consciousness, and it feels like the constantly evolving sensory aspect of -aware existence, from the perspective of the sense currently dominating our sensory data stream - a pervasive taste, smell, sound, and particularly pains, can dominate the reality of consciousness; However, it’s usually our current visual image. While this generalized feeling experience must serve as the unconscious representation of reality from this perspective, the memories producing it retain their integrity in associative groups related to individual thoughts in underlying physical processes. When stimulated, these associated physical perceptual memories come into consciousness as a wide variety of sensory qualities, which seems to indicate the individual perceptual feelings creating sensory values might include a range of feeling tones as well. We do not know this to be the case however, and without a need to identify specific elements in this model’s representation of unconscious reality, which will become more apparent later, modelling each perceptual feeling as a different value adds a conceivable imaginary, surely daunting layers of complexity. Instead, the model opts for clarity by simply representing perceptual feelings that are always beyond our grasp anyway, as identical; While the patterns they create account for the describable differences in feeling values, we find in consciousness.
Individual perceptual memories represent an endless variety of sensory elements, each a specific interchangeable part of reality that is routinely incorporated into a wide variety of familiar qualities (patterns), which are then understandable parts in mental images of really remembered events. They can also be elemental parts in images that transcend the truths of any real experience, as in dreams, fantasies, and the creative acts that create something new from existing and familiar parts. Yet most of the time, the feelings arising from perceptual memories aggregate into patterns that simply allow our thoughts to distinguish red from blue, straight lines from curves, horizontal from vertical and, if one has learned to differentiate them, Chenin Blanc from Chablis. Perceptual feelings do not establish which colour or wine we like best or even why they differ, they combine to create distinct values that allow our unconscious thoughts to tell them apart without recourse to rational descriptions. They are faint, nondescript values combining to represent real things unconscious thoughts need for instinctual understandings of causes (objects) that may or may not eventually appear in a conscious thought or noticeable sensory impressions. An unconscious representation like this wouldn’t look like an object as it appears in conscious thought, but it would otherwise unconsciously feel like it through representations of sensory impressions we will invariably experience when we encounter it. They cannot be the values that determine whether we desire or want to avoid an object either because, as Wittgenstein observed about the words we see and hear, they ‘should explain only in the stream of life’. Perceptual memories determine nothing beyond the truth of existence, so whenever we hear a word - red, bright, doctors, down -it can sometimes cause us to feel fear, and sometimes joy. To understand unconscious representations of our changing affinities and aversions to particular truths, we must look to more subjective feelings that have little to do with the shareable realities found by less than of what contained the greater of an equal neurological ability.‘The idea is that although no doubt is possible in the case of what the senses tell us, there is always a doubt possible as to interpretation.’
Subjective feelings are evaluations ultimately based on each individual’s varying reactions to what is sensed rather than its bare truth value -it is the difference between the sensory truth of a person’s existence when we see them, and the feeling of how that person affects our life -affection, jealousy, respect, fear, curiosity a message conveyed by emotion. A real object that has been experienced before is represented by an established pattern of perceptual memories and when current sensory impressions stimulate them, they produce a pattern of feelings to represent it in thought, which means the mind must utilize a clearly different type of feeling value to represent what we think about the prospect of that object continuing to generate effects on us. If the object is far away and sensed only by sight, current sensory data cannot convey pain or any other instinctually meaningful tactile value because there has been no physical contact, but it can bring anticipatory anxiety to consciousness. For this to happen, we must be capable to occasion of our ability to contribute, and as yet, the presence of the unknown (future) experiences within to occur the internationalities that give rise to cause harm or satisfy as needed. When we think rationally, ‘An intention is embedded in its situation, in human customs and institutions’; while an unconscious dialogue between one kind of feeling representing external conditions and another representing their personal meanings, cannot symbolize some of these more subtle rational understandings. In the simple language of feeling, if a rock in ones paths are not treated as having an intent to cause harm, it’s likely we will get proof it had one when it trips us - and because experience is the only proof with instinctual meaning. We will have to trip over a few unconsciously to understand their intent. Our instincts eventually determine that rocks intend to force us into the instinctual reactions our experiences prove are necessary to avoid falling afterward, and because the unconscious -realization, producing the immediate reactions that cannot include complex deliberations when they must quickly determine the ill-reasoning implications that guide its course within the unconscious manifestations to endeavour upon that which implicates their application to the actions that best serve the momentary survival needs. The unconscious meaning for a rock in our way, always remains upon the deprivation in reflection to this urgency by being essentially the same as a decision about what action to take, not whether one is desirable or required. This gives us the opportunity to equate the instinctual meaning for an object with our reaction to it - recalling instructions for the body movements that prevent a fall after tripping, produces a feeling to represent these memory stimulations (reactions) in unconscious thought, just as perceptual memories produce perceptual feelings to represent the sensory elements they store. Nevertheless, if we relate all emotionally meaningful feelings to instinctual reactions as this formula indicates, experiencing one that doesn’t accompany a noticeable body movement, means we must answer an important question, ‘could one . . . if to be done, could it achieve something in ones mind or head, which one cannot do perceptibly, for which there is no such thing as a perceptible equivalent?’ Our model says yes; it maintains that emotionally toned feelings originate as stimulations of specialized body control memory sites, each of which codes for a very specific element in the suite of instructions necessary for carrying out a particular action - an external change in body configurations is the most obvious example of an action, but physical brain processes retrieving more information through memory stimulations are also actions in the real world of material things, only different in being confined to the brain. Speaking for example, would result from many separate instructions, each found in a different memory site that, when associated together, control the lung, throat, mouth and facial muscle actuations necessary to say a word or phase. If not speaking for some reason seems best, we might still think what we were going to say (act it out in mind), and each stimulation of a memory site necessary to retrieve memories of words that will not be expressed in this situation, would also produce feelings to represent them in thought, perhaps some of the same ones required for speech. Like the perceptual feelings that aggregate into consciously understandable patterns representing sensory impressions (objects), these feelings combine into sometimes noticeable felt meanings (emotions) built from elemental parts that represent body control memories. Each memory relates to a store of some single instruction for a body change (reaction) that is a part of what we do in specific circumstances, and together they represent a reaction strategy. These unnoticeable components are then, in essence feelings that represent elemental parts of conceptions. Our model describes them as concept feelings, produced by control memories.
Complex animal life must make choices and to make choices, and animals must have an ability to prejudge what is about to happen. Forming abstract notions is perhaps understandable that our human ability (concepts) seems unique to our kind, but it is least that is abstractive by any animal that determines it should avoid something experience proves will be detrimental, without actually experiencing its ill effects again. This judgment to avoid a recurrence of something that was unpleasant in the past (or embrace something proven to be rewarding) is a concept for specific dynamic functioning, a grasp of what is not actually existing at a given moment. An instinctual understanding that knows nothing about concepts can become aware of the success or failure of a remembered action represented in perceptual memories without rational help, if the feeling value in an unconscious thought parallel with a rationalized feeling like anxiety, as our model maintains - a felt concern for what is going to happen if current conditions are not changed to avoid either or embrace what memory tells us might soon be actual. Conscious thought can rationalize such information into specific mathematical probabilities for what will eventually happen, but unconscious thought must also have represented probable effects when we instinctually react to imminent threats because, aside from manners, the unconscious processes that produce immediate reactions often accomplish almost everything rational thought would have. Concept feelings, when they combine to form a pattern we notice as a distinct tone of anxiety, reflect the meaning (effect) a familiar object -a dog for instance is likely to produce through vicariously re-living the reactions usually required when this particular object shows up in our sensory data. ‘If In say ‘In am anxiously awaiting his coming’, this means: In am occupied with his coming (in thought, and one can also say: in thought and action).’ If we see a snarling dog fifty feet away, that sensory image stimulates (acts on) memories of similar experiences, and through associating memories of seeing angry dogs twenty, ten feet and one foot away, together with others representing an actual attack (even a memory of being told it could happen), they create a felt context in unconscious thought something like a god’s eye view of all these memories at once, which feels like fearful anxiety to most of us. By associating, and concurrently experiencing all relevant memories, instinctual understanding is creating a concept to represent what can be expected from an object that has, as yet not produced a senseable effect in the current context. It may not a very refined abstractive idea of what might really happen, not that it is not a very specific possibility, but the only predictably interesting possibilities in instinctual considerations are not very specific either, these entwining threats and intuitive celebrations are met by -gratification. A concept built from feelings we can sometimes notice as anything from fear to affection, has a quality specific to a particular possibility, and this kind of understanding can be applied to represent similar effects produced by a wide variety of objects; even rule structures can become unconsciously apparent when memories depicting how they affect specific behaviours are recalled.
When the memories controlling body functions give rise to concept feelings they serve two purposes. Concept feelings give consciousness mental values that, in aggregate patterns, represent remembered opinions of an object as an undistinguished part of its current context, while the physical memory sites producing them instruct the body to act in an established way for that particular combination of control elements. It is the complete collection of these unconscious physical reactions in a particular moment that determines how we feel, and some become consciously apprehensible. We usually think of body feelings as produced by sensory organs, but before we can actually sense how it feels to carry out a reaction, the instructions for it are felt in consciousness. Even reactions that do no more than seek out new memory associations are changes in external conditions from the perspective of mind altering the existing circumstances (remembered data) our thoughts must take into consideration if they are accurately to represent all we currently know about reality. Until we sense a result, concept feelings represent something like the anxiety that accompanies conscious thoughts while awaiting completion of a pending action. Assuming it our instinctual unconscious understandings also have cause to feel anxious about the still unknown effect of what they have just done seems reasonable or thought about doing (acted out within the mind) - ‘Fear hangs together with misgivings, and misgivings are thoughts.’ The emotional values that bring meaning to unconscious thoughts are then, resentment-like feelings similar to the felt valuations we feel in conscious thoughts; they are anxieties representing the physical effects (personal meanings) of remembered concepts and ideas. If we are to succeed in integrating conscious and unconscious values, this seems to give us reasonable grounds to establish a dual conscious/unconscious need for meaningful resentment-like feelings, and since the range for them has already been established, the extremes of these similarly subjective feeling experiences are the same; Love and fear -feelings that represent our judgment of an object’s worth (meaning). With respect to love we are dealing with a conception implying no more than a very strong affinity for an object that, to avoid confusion will be described as joy, reserving love for the special kind of joy accompanying ecstatic saintly experiences. These seem to be easily understandable as clearly subjective feelings familiar in consciousness, and have the advantage of being recallable by everyone in memories we can nebulously describe as the most fearful and blindly joyful experiences we have ever had. These are strong sensations, readily recognized as permeating our consciousness (mood) and there are other anxiety feelings that are familiar because they represent strong effects in our minds; Feelings that routinely accompany and add meaning to ideas like anger, war, injustice, envy, Hitler, and by comparing with positive feels, as happiness, home, kittens, God and contentment. The feeling representations of these concepts are apparent in our conscious attention, modifying our mood, posture, gestures and tone of voice to include, often even if we choose not to, a message about the feelings we are experiencing. Not all changes in our emotions and body states are senseable however, objects and ideas accompanied, least of mention, by that which is less extreme anxiety feelings are much more difficult, perhaps impossible to apprehend in an adult human mind because they represent moderate physical reactions. Experience and the authorities that held sway at the time of learning have taught us, with varying degrees of success, that personalized reactions to natural laws and culturally enforced rules of behaviour, language, science and even interpretations of God’s will are not required, useful or acceptable. Until we notice their absence, our survival instincts, tempered by consistent experience, can assume these invisible influences are still there, and are not immediately challenged to respond beyond the point of anticipatory reactions like focussing our attention, or perhaps simply sending precautionary messages within the nervous system. This means a wide range of objects and ideas are accompanied by feelings we cannot name because the reaction is slight, and consequently our ability consciously to identify some fact/feeling relationships is poor, or perhaps simply underdeveloped - they are emotionally neutral mental images with resentment-like feelings that are neither good nor bad, happy or apprehensive, angry or content. However, we can give them names by accepting one of the model’s premises: a concept feeling is produced by a reaction that, for emotionally neutral rational ideas, is a search for a perceptual memory needed to create a mental image; and this process gives us an equation of concept feeling = reaction = mental image. This formula allows us to equate any fact we can conceive as a mental image. With a pattern of concept feelings that each represents a physical reaction required to complete the image of the idea in consciousness; a feeling values we cannot sense except as an element of the mental image. It’s a long way from conceiving of anger as rationally communicable idea accompanied by a consciously apprehensible feeling, to a similar understanding of what we experience in obtaining a concise representation of the colour we all describe as red, but in essence they are the same.
When aggregated into anxiety feelings, concept feelings are similar to the ‘somatic markers’ postulated by Antonio Damasio in Descartes Error, body feelings accompanying rational thoughts that ‘have been connected, by learning, to predict outcomes of certain scenarios’, that are by their inductive apprehension of thoughts that stem from their controlling omission by gathering forces that manifest the beginning inclinations through intuitive certainties that succumb with one important qualification. Wherefore, Wittgenstein goes forward to explicate upon its functional contribution: ‘If In say every time In thought about it In was afraid - ill-satisfactions having brought forth the ill’s succumbing to hesitorial anticipations for which accompany my thoughts? - How is one to conceive of separating what does, the accompanying from what is accompanied?’ Our model’s equivalent of a somatic marker (an anxiety feeling) would not be accompanied by, but would represent the stimulus for, an internally generated image of a rational fact. This modulation of unconscious thought into the values of rationality happens only for our sole conscious thought. Perceptual (truth) memories and body control (concept) memories give us a feeling of truth conveyed by our senses (that the object is there) and a feeling of anxiety associated with that object (the effect it usually produces contributes as one stand alone), and whether we notice any of it depends on the quality of the anxiety value. We physically react to all sensory impressions, but we are only aware of them when they produce acts or feelings we can, and actually do, consciously notice. In a simplified scenario, a pattern of perceptual elements we might rationally describe as dryness or a bit of dust, stimulates various body control elements (reactions) we could only notice as a blink, but usually do not. Similarly, the perceptual pattern that indicates a lack of oxygen produces a body reaction sometimes noticeable as an increased rate of breathing and perhaps a little anxiety; a nearby moving object produces reactions that result from control memories involved in maintaining eye contact, and is accompanied by anxious anticipation. While an oncoming bus is a pattern of perceptual elements that consciously feels like fear, and represents very noticeable and usually unanticipated body controls for running or jumping - all happening together with many others and sensed in a complex rational/moral/instinctual totality of understanding that feels like the current state of our consciousness.
The body’s reaction to a particular object is represented in thought as an anticipated effect but, our assessment of what can be expected is not limited to something everyone can understand as right or wrong, it’s based on the unique reactions each of us has learned are appropriate through personal life experiences. To be sure, the one conscious thought that holds our interest usually represents reality according to values maintained by culture, while the concurrent unconscious ‘multiple drafts’ that Daniel Dennett identified in Consciousness Explained, represents possible future conscious thoughts following in the same line of enquiry that, in this model, are allied unconscious thoughts being considered as feeling alone. We have been taught with good reason, which productive thought is rationally thought, and we learn to be obsessed with shared rules and symbols because they bring clearly, shareable understandings that hold the promise of being beneficial to distribute equally among those that are without others. It’s also quite true that this negation of feeling in favour of fact is made easier by realizing that we cannot relate a specific feeling to most conscious images. This limitation does not apply in the opposite sense however; the language of unconscious thought can produce a pattern of concept feelings for every rational fact we have retained in memory, but red is still red, D-O-G still spells’ dog, and good behaviour is still good. The difference is that they are not associated to other concepts based on the logic endorsed for rational thought - as red would be associated with an idea like colour; dog with a shape, word or pet, and good behaviour would not mean emotional contentment or rewards. Unconsciously, one pattern of concept feelings is associated to another, the juxtaposition of which is beyond our knowledge until they are brought to conscious thought and yet, when we hear ourselves speak without first thinking of what we are going to say, or understand a sequence of rational symbols suddenly occurring to us as a logical thought about words or numbers, the underlying unconscious thoughts that produced them seem closely related to coherent and cognitive lines.
That we believe human minds can only think in rational concepts, ideas, and images are a result of our reliance, like all animals, on sensory information to provide the ultimate strand of truth for our actions and thoughts. The model treats our shared rational symbols like all other objects, they exist in the brain as remembered perceptual elements that are recalled to unconscious thought by a specific suite of control memories that, in turn can be apprehended by conscious thought as mental images. In a sense, the phenomenon of mind in this model is the place where we are made aware of the actions of the body and it’s understandably a little difficult to conceive of thinking about dog or red as a body reaction, but if we consider it for a moment, the body is the only part of us that materially exists in the world and its sole aim is to keep on existing. Mind allows us to establish an overview of its ongoing struggle, and when we think rationally (react to rational concepts) we modify its behaviour to conform to agreed upon rules that are unimportant to a solitary animal’s needs. Unconscious thought is the one mental arena in which all of the various concept feelings generated by many concurrent reactions can be considered, combined and sorted to find the one concept that means most to our survival. When we identify it, by becoming aware of the one with the highest anxiety value, we then associate it to experiences in order to experience past reactions mentally and the results they brought. As we have evolved from a simple consciousness of feelings, into an awareness of how others are affected by our actions, we have created special, unchanging patterns of concept feelings (reactions) to represent meanings that are shared, and each particular culture does its best to establish the feelings associated with important ideas as good or bad so we will all react to them in the way we collectively intend. Wittgenstein’s search for the feeling of red was truly a monumental undertaking from this perspective. While we all represent it with more than once are less at the same tine, only can the same perceptual feelings that everyone would experience an anxiety feeling (meaning) solely dependent on the reactions they have learned is necessary to recall the sensory experience we all describe as red. It’s easier to see the personal qualities included in a fact/feeling relationship if we consider an idea like mother, country, or God - these are clearly different feeling experiences in different minds, although most of us believe our personal feeling (idea) is the one that represents objective truth for everyone, or at least should.
When we look into the implications of this model, the survival of rational concepts depends solely on their continual iteration into developing individual minds, through sensing symbols along with instructions as to how they should feel (how we should react to them), and if culture fails constantly to preestablish their validity with rewards and penalties, as European Culture failed to do for many scientific and philosophical concepts during the middle ages, those ideas are lost to that segment of humanity because they cannot enter our perceptual memories (truths) in any other way except a new creative act. If we insist that a moral code would seem like a good idea whether we have lost a rational understanding of its foundations or not, that’s true; our sensory grasp of its existence in human interactions would be the same as long as it remains in use; and the felt meanings (physical effects) of its rules would continue to encourage acceptance of it. We would still experience anxiety feelings, from a conscience perhaps, indicating where and when to apply rules appropriate to familiar situations - though recalling images representing the absence of ill effects when our actions conform to it, is that the usual penalties and punishments that will be felt when it’s violated as well. This is the way young children understand the rules of their proven stability as situated for parental care environments; only once we enter the outside world, the value of a consistent rational understanding shared by culture and one becomes apparent. It’s the only way we can avoid an endless series of trial and error derivations of each rule’s personal meaning to others when conflicts arise. Because each individual’s replacement for a rational foundation, can only be a sense of justice that is unavoidably skewed to their own life experiences. Regardless of the rigour of our objectivity, the basis of its ideas is that each of us exercises for a conscious understanding, are limited to those we have learned. If we have learned that faith in family loyalty, nationalism, or God’s will, not science and ethics, are the foundation of cultural order, any transgression is a violation of felt beliefs - meanings that are, no matter how hard we try to see it otherwise, essentially incommunicable felt understandings that cannot be rationalized in precisely the same way by anyone else.
In the chaotic context of the mind’s many thoughts and feelings, being aware of but one conscious thought at a given moment gives us an opportunity to see an inherent problem this model of unconscious processes brings into the light of reflective rational thought. When internal reactions stimulate memories, the pattern of perceptual feelings representing them in consciousness is an abbreviated copy of what was actually sensed - the difference between consciously looking at an object or event and imaging it in thought; it seems the same but ‘It appears to us as if memory were a secondary experience when compared with experience of the present.’ The real time mental image of an object is generated by all of the information being gathered at that moment, each element of information activating its specific memory site; while a recalled mental image of it is constructed from only those perceptual elements that played a role in causing our original reaction to the object; and here we come face to face with our prejudices and stereotypes. However sketchy our memory is, recalling it to reflective thought seems equivalent to sensing a real object, and it is then the stimulus for a pattern of conceptualized feelings (reactions) directed toward what seems like a real object but is really an object represented by only those sensory elements we considered meaningful (worthy of a reaction) when it was created - some of which were not characteristics of the object it, but a part of the now past context that is largely beyond conscious recall, since much of it was only noticed unconsciously and never symbolized in rational values. Each time the thought moves from generating an imprecise object created from remembered perceptual elements, to a reaction, thoughts follow ones own familiar, trusted associations that are actually reactions to a limited and distorted object; and as a result, we have created a realistic conscious image accompanied by a felt valuation constructed from some rationally valid concept feelings (reactions), together with many rule-poor instinctually formulated allied unconscious thoughts that include unidentified influences from no longer existing contextual factors, obscure associations, and even errors in the perceptual images caused by instinctually unimportant similarities in truth feelings. These movements in thought can easily bring currently irrelevant, rationally invalid anxiety into the conscious values representing an otherwise desirable object or idea. It’s unavoidable if we do not take an interest in understanding feeling values, because they seem like the felt valuations our cultures encourage - resentments.
‘One of the mistakes oftenest committed in human affairs, is that of supposing that the same name always stands for the same aggregation of ideas’ (J.S. Mill). Concept feelings personalize sensory truths, even names, by giving them felt meanings we can only fully understand with complete knowledge of the experiences of the individual who created them and . . . ’the only way to understand someone else would be to go through the same upbringing as his - which is impossible.’ The shared meanings to a word for which, a rational standard and the best we can do insofar as our individualized representation can carry it with a stereotypical meaning that, because it cannot include all of the shared qualities of our original experience, must be prejudicially abbreviate, and regardless of our intent. Without resorting to simplified stereotypes, physical memory sites would have to store not only the whole range of meanings we can find and imagine for words, but the complete images of every recallable idea and object experienced during our lifetime. Even estimates ranging to trillions of cells and synaptic connections in the brain are insufficient for a task like this. Poorly detailed prejudices are solutions to this inconceivable data storage problem and they work very well when confined to survival issues judged by animal (instinctual) values - the only issues and values we were concerned with until a few thousand years ago - and assuming the worst possible intent is almost always instinct’s first solution and quite often its last principle, at least for those of us who survive. When societal forces move to discourage a particular prejudice, they ask each of us to acquire more detailed knowledge to augment what we have previously relied on to represent the specific object or idea being revalued; they ask us to make new associations to old concepts. It might be racial prejudice, ethnic stereotypes, evolving personal relationships or accepting X as a symbol for a number, but the perennial problem is the same, associating new, more detailed, and presumably more enlightened facts to explain away an ingrained and therefore dependable reaction strategy. If an outdated idea is accompanied by a highly anxious feeling tone, the new information, no matter how egalitarian it may be, will be represented by a concept feeling pattern, sharing many elements with the original stereotype because they both deal with closely related subject matter -the real object has changed very little (only invisible rules) and it will be a long time before experience based instinctual understandings are convinced (have enough evidence to prove) the changes are dependable reflections of real conditions. Whether we can actually change an ingrained prejudice remains and open question in this model, because it seems to indicate that the only way to avoid a reliable instinctual prejudice is to begin with a fresh new mind; accept there is always a way to resolve conflict internally if we want it badly enough to think about it. We must add the new knowledge, not as an association to the original subject of the prejudice, but to some other nonthreatening stereotype, and the trick is to do it while culturally approved tastes for entertainment and ethnic diversity are busy drawing ever more stereotypical pictures of the world around us.
The solution will come when we are forced to give up something we think we cannot live without. Emerging science, as represented by Galileo, forced the all-powerful church of his time to justify its most sacred texts without the support of historically unassailable proof they had previously found in Aristotle’s ethics and simple cosmology. Slavery was abolished at a time when millions were willing to die to defend it. It’s a bit more difficult to understand that something as rationally worthwhile and widely enjoyed as ethnically specific foods and lifestyles can provide reinforcement for out-dated rational ideas - and it’s not a problem limited to those who willfully twist good intentions into something else, because they are utilizing the same tools on which we all must rely. The feelings (reactions) we use to prove the worth of conscious ideas are naturally occurring human qualities; some are even encouraged as support for moral and ethical standards, and problems only arise when shared rational meanings are changed, while the unconscious processes of individual minds continue to produce unchanged felt valuations to reinforce the new rational meanings. The solution is to accept the unavoidable fact that human communal life is a unique order imposed on nature: one that can only control violence and deliver what we want when we want it, if shared rules dominate our interactions - some of which produce conflict in consciousness. Shared standards cannot solve these conflicts because rational conceptions don’t include understandings of feeling experiences, so it’s up to each individual to recognize that felt valuation can easily be confused with instinctual inclinations our cultures have simply legislated away. If we make a plea for returning to the essential truths of nature instead, all we know about what naturalized perceptivity would be like, is that we would experience unrationalized feelings and react to external stimuli in a reasonable manner: no symbols, rational understanding, felt valuations, words, or sensory impressions with a meaning extending beyond their usefulness in the present moment. The simple truths of nature often seem appealing in our complex social arrangements, but experiencing them without the support of reason is really inaccessible to humans because, when ‘one thinks one is tracing the outline of the things in nature over and over again, . . . one is merely tracing around the frame through which we look at it’ . . . so you are saying that human agreement decides what is true and what is false? - It is what human beings represent that is true and false, and they agree in the language they use. That is no agreement in opinions but in a form of life.’
In his writings (Essays on Aesthetics, Untimely Meditations, The Gay Science and others) Nietzsche wishes to be considered by his readers and viewed in and by history as a psychologist who practice’s psychology and who has devised 'a new psychology'. Many aspects of Nietzsche's work are viewed by several authors (for instance, Kaufmann and Golomb) as psychological ones, a fact that is disregarded by numerous authors who regard Nietzsche as a mere anti philosopher and a writer of short, beautiful verse. Nietzsche has also sought to bring the nature of man, the unconscious, the conscious, conscious, analysis, relationships with other individuals, the inner state (emotions, sensations, feelings and the like), irrational sources of man's power and greatness as well as his morbidity and -destructiveness into the scope of existence.

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Perhaps, of the things I thought, I really should have done.